NBC Sports will expand its horse racing programming in the lead up to the 2019 Kentucky Derby, collaborating with Churchill Downs on a new magazine-style series while airing a pair of crucial prep races.

In partnership with Churchill Downs, NBC Sports will debut a new Road to the Kentucky Derby series this spring, leading up to NBC’s coverage of the 145
th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, May 4. In March, NBCSN will debut the first of the four 30-minute Road to the Kentucky Derby episodes, which will showcase the stars of the sport, telling the stories behind the horses and the legendary race. Keith Wetzler, Executive Producer of Broadcast at Churchill Downs, will produce the series.

In addition, NBC Sports will add the $1 million Louisiana Derby and the $1 million Arkansas Derby to its lineup of 2019 Triple Crown prep races on NBCSN next spring.

On Saturday, March 23
at 5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN will televise the $1 million Louisiana Derby from Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. Last year’s victor, Noble Indy, won by a head over Lone Sailor in a wild finish, and went on to run in both the 2018 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

Coverage of the $1 million Arkansas Derby, the final prep race before the Kentucky Derby, will begin on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The most celebrated champion of the Arkansas Derby, American Pharaoh in 2015, went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

Below is NBC Sports Group’s 2019 prep race schedule: 

Sat., March 23

5:30 p.m.

Louisiana Derby


Sat., March 30

6 p.m.

Florida Derby


Sat., April 6

5:30 p.m.

Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby


Sat., April 13

7 p.m.

Arkansas Derby


Sat., May 4

4 p.m.

Kentucky Derby



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