The 'Road To The Kentucky Derby' Series Continues This Weekend With The Florida Derby

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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March 29th, 2012

via press release:

THE “ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY™ ” SERIES CONTINUES THIS WEEKEND WITH THE FLORIDA DERBY

Live Coverage of the Florida Derby and Gulfstream Oaks This Saturday, 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network

“This is a three horse race with Take Charge Indy, El Padrino, and Union Rags. I’m looking for one of these horses to take one more step forward leading up to the Kentucky Derby.” – NBC’s Gary Stevens

 

NEW YORK – March 29, 2012 – Live coverage of the Road to the Kentucky Derby™, a series of major prep races for the 2012 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands, continues with the Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., this Saturday, 5-6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. The Road to the Kentucky Derby™ is a collaboration of The Jockey Club and the NBC Sports Group.

In addition to the Florida Derby, which was has produced 21 Kentucky Derby winners, NBC Sports Network will present the Gulfstream Oaks, a race for fillies that is an important prep race for the Kentucky Oaks.

Tom Hammond will host NBC Sports Network’s coverage this Saturday from Gulfstream Park. He will be joined by analysts Gary Stevens and Randy Moss; and reporters Bob Neumeier, Kenny Rice and Christina Oliveras. Larry Collmus, NBC’s Triple Crown race-caller will call both races on Saturday.

ABOUT THE BROADCAST: In addition to the two graded stakes races, NBC Sports Network's coverage will include a feature on trainer Todd Pletcher, and the unique relationship he shares with his father, J.J. Pletcher, who saddles El Padrino in the Florida Derby, has won four straight Eclipse Awards and trained 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.

STEVENS ON THE FLORIDA DERBY: “This is a three horse race with Take Charge Indy, El Padrino, and Union Rags. I’m looking for one of these horses to take one more step forward leading up to the Kentucky Derby. It is important that they continue to move forward and show improvement.

“I’d expect to see Take Charge Indy forwardly placed early on with Union Rags just stalking him. Union Rags showed that he does have gate speed in winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes and does not need to lead. He can sit patiently. I saw a whole new dimension of Union Rags than what we saw as a two year old. He’s definitely moved forward and I expect him to take another step forward. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t.

“El Padrino ran a gutty race at the Risin Star. He also has moved forward in his three-year-old year. I expect him to move forward again. I would expect these three horses to be battling it out through the stretch.”

The Road to the Kentucky Derby™ series began last weekend with the Spiral Stakes, and continues Saturday, April 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET with a 90-minute live broadcast on NBC featuring the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park, the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and the Central Bank Ashland Stakes for fillies from Keeneland Race Course. The series concludes with coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland Race Course and the Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park, which will air on CNBC on Saturday, April 14 from 6-7 p.m. ET.

REMAINING ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY COVERAGE (All Times ET)

Saturday, March 31, 2012, 5-6 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Florida Derby and Gulfstream Oaks (Gulfstream Park)
Host: Tom Hammond
Analysts: Gary Stevens, Randy Moss
Reporters: Bob Neumeier, Kenny Rice, Christina Olivares
Track Announcer: Larry Collmus

Saturday, April 7, 2012, 4:30-6 p.m. (NBC)
Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial (Aqueduct Racetrack) and Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita Park), Central Bank Ashland Stakes (Keeneland Race Course)
Host: Tom Hammond
Analysts: Gary Stevens, Randy Moss
Reporters: Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers, Laffit Pincay, III, Mike Battaglia (from Keeneland), Bob Neumeier (from Aqueduct)

Saturday, April 14, 2012, 6-7 p.m. ET (CNBC)
Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Keeneland Race Course) and Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park)
Host: Tom Hammond
Analysts: Gary Stevens, Randy Moss
Reporters: Mike Battaglia, Kenny Rice, Katie Mikolay, Jay Privman (from Oaklawn)

 
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