The Santa Anita Derby, the Wood Memorial Stakes, and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes are just a few of the major Kentucky Derby prep races to be televised live as part of the 2001 "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series.
Released Wednesday by NTRA Productions, the schedule includes 15 races in eight one-hour shows. New to the schedule in 2001 are the Turfway Spiral Stakes, the Wood Memorial, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, the Arkansas Derby (formerly on ABC), the Santa Anita Derby (formerly on FOX), the Risen Star Stakes, and the Illinois Derby.
The series kicks off Feb. 18 with coverage on ESPN2 of the Risen Star from Fair Grounds in New Orleans,and concludes with a one-hour Triple Crown special April 29. Also featured on the series will be expanded, tape-delayed coverage of the Fountain of Youth Stakes, the Florida Derby, and the San Felipe Stakes. All programs will air on either ESPN or ESPN2. Another important Kentucky Derby prep, the Feb. 3 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita, will be seen on ESPN2 as part of the "NTRA 2Day at the Races" series.
Here's the complete "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" schedule:
Feb. 18 (5-6 p.m.) ESPN2: Risen Star Stakes from Fair Grounds; and the Fountain of Youth Stakes from Gulfstream (tape).
Mar. 11 (4:40-5:30 p.m.) ESPN2: Louisiana Derby from Fair Grounds; Florida Derby from Gulfstream (tape); El Camino Real Derby from Golden Gate Fields (tape).
Mar. 18 (4-5 p.m.) ESPN2: Gotham Stakes from Aqueduct; San Felipe Stakes from Santa Anita (tape).
Mar. 24 (4-5 p.m.) ESPN: Turfway Spiral Stakes.
Apr. 7 (5-6 p.m.) ESPN: Santa Anita Derby; Illinois Derby from Sportsman's Park; Lone Star Derby from Lone Star Park.
Apr. 14 (5-6 p.m.) ESPN: Wood Memorial from Aqueduct; Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland; Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park.
Apr. 21 (5-6 p.m) ESPN2: Coolmore Lexington Stakes from Keeneland.
Apr. 29 (2-3 p.m.) ESPN: Triple Crown Special.