NBC will kick off coverage of the 2005 Visa Triple Crown season April 9, with the two-hour telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4-6 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.; the Wood Memorial (gr. I) from Aqueduct in Ozone Park, N.Y.; and the Illinois Derby (gr. II) from Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Ill. All three races are contested at 1 1/8 miles, and with the Run for the Roses only four weeks thereafter, will likely be the final tune-up event for those running in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 7 (NBC, 5-6:30 p.m. ET).
Also on tap live from Aqueduct will be the Carter Handicap (gr. I), a seven-furlong sprint for older horses.
The telecast is expected to feature NBC's Triple Crown broadcast lineup, including host Tom Hammond, analysts Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier, commentator Charlsie Cantey, and reporters Donna Barton Brothers and Kenny Rice.
In addition to covering the races, the show will present highlights of the 2005 Triple Crown prep season and preview the May 7 Run for the Roses.