Keeneland is now back on dirt and that means the Blue Grass Stakes is back to being a major prep for the Kentucky Derby and no longer a haven for grass and synthetic horses looking to back door it into the Run for the Roses.
Every racing fan, whether they realize it or not, is hurtling down the road of inevitability that lands squarely beneath the Twin Spires (or at least in the vicinity thereof). To aid in your endeavors, this handy lifeline.
Things are relatively quiet at the barn of trainer Michael Matz and void of the media buzz that surrounded other such barns as Richard Dutrow and Eoin Harty leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
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), Wood Memorial (gr. I), and the Illinois Derby (gr. II).
In addition to hosting Kentucky Derby prep the Wood Memorial on April 12, Aqueduct has also invited groups from the surrounding borough of Queens to the track that day to celebrate the area's diverse offerings.
With help from a later start, the final hour-plus of the Kentucky Derby telecast outdrew last year's by about 40 percent. NBC Sports' debut broadcast under a five-year, $51.5 million deal to air thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series produced a 9.2 national rating from 5:30 to 6:42 p.m. EDT Saturday.