More than 435,000 households viewed ESPN's broadcast of three key Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep races April 14. The 5-6 p.m. broadcast earned a 0.55 rating for its coverage of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and the Wood Memorial (gr. II).The rating cannot be compared with last year when the races were carried on ABC. Last year, the race earned a 1.6 rating and attracted 1,608,000 households.The prep races did attract more viewers than the NHL first round playoff game on ESPN2, which earned a 0.4 rating and had 297,000 households tuned in. During the time slot, the races had competition from a Senior PGA tournament on ABC, the PGA Worldcom Classic on CBS, and the American Le Mans auto race on NBC.