ESPN Networks to Air Key Derby Preps

The action begins March 21 with the Lane's End Stakes

(Edited press release)

“NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby” will air on the ESPN networks beginning Saturday, March 21, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Feb. 27.

The series provides comprehensive coverage of several key Triple Crown prep races, including the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) from Gulfstream Park, the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) from Oaklawn Park, and the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) from Keeneland.

Beginning with live coverage of the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) from Turfway Park, “NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby” will offer seven important races from four different race tracks. All races will air live with the exception of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, which will be shown via same-day tape during the Arkansas Derby telecast.

“We are proud to once again partner with ESPN in bringing racing fans key contests leading up to the Kentucky Derby,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. “Later in the year, we will be announcing a package of summer races, also to be televised on the ESPN family of networks.”

The following is the schedule for the 2009 NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby (subject to change): 

March 21: Lane’s End Stakes, Rushaway Stakes from Turfway Park, ESPN2, 5:00-6:00 p.m.       

March 28: Florida Derby, Swale Stakes from Gulfstream Park, ESPN, 5:00-6:00 p.m.    

April 11: Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland, ESPN2, 6:00-7:00 p.m.        

April 18: Coolmore Lexington Stakes from Keeneland, ESPN2, 5:00-6:00 p.m.