Anne M. Eberhardt

Upcoming Kentucky Derby Preps to Air on NBCSN

Florida, Louisiana Derbies on tap March 29; Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby April 5.

NBCSN will cover four elite Thoroughbred prep races over the next two weekends leading into NBC Sports Group's exclusive coverage of the Triple Crown races, it was announced March 26.

The racing telecasts kick off this Saturday, March 29 on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET, with a pair of $1 million races, the Florida Derby (gr. I) from Gulfstream Park and the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) from Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Last year's Florida Derby winner Orb  went to Churchill Downs as the favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and emerged as the 2 1/2-length winner. Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary  finished third in the Derby, while seventh-place finisher Palace Malice  went on to capture the 2013 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

A week later, on Saturday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN will televise the Wood Memorial (gr. I) from Aqueduct Racetrack and the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) from Santa Anita Park.  The Wood Memorial winner has won the Kentucky Derby 11 times, with four of those victorious horses winning the Triple Crown. The Santa Anita winner has gone on to victory at Churchill Downs seven times, including I'll Have Another , who captured both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in 2012.

"We are eager to present these important prep races, which build excitement and interest as we head into the Kentucky Derby and the beginning of our Triple Crown season of Thoroughbred racing," said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC and NBCSN.

NBCSN's coverage features host Tom Hammond, whose first-ever assignment for NBC was as a reporter three decades ago on the network's 1984 Breeders' Cup broadcast. He is joined by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who has won each Triple Crown race twice; veteran horse racing analyst Randy Moss; and contributing analyst/handicapper Bob Neumeier. NBC's Triple Crown race caller Larry Collmus, the track announcer at Gulfstream Park, will call this Saturday's Florida Derby on NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group's live Triple Crown coverage begins Friday, May 2 on NBCSN with the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). On Saturday, May 3, NBC presents the 140th Kentucky Derby. NBC Sports Group's Triple Crown coverage continues with telecasts from the Preakness Stakes May 16-17, and the Belmont Stakes June 6-7 on NBC and NBCSN.