FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 30th, 2020
NBC SPORTS’ “RUN FOR THE ROSES” SATURDAY FEATURES KENTUCKY DERBY SPECIAL ON NBC AT 3 P.M. ET, FOLLOWED ON NBCSN BY LIVE ARKANSAS DERBY AT 6 P.M. ET & ROSE BOWL CLASSICS AT 8 P.M. ET
Live Coverage of Unique Arkansas Derby – 20 Horses set to run in Two Kentucky Derby Qualifying Races – this Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Follows NBC Kentucky Derby Special
A Pair of USC Victories Over Ohio State, Headline NBC Sports From The Vault’s Classic Rose Bowl Games – this Sat., May 2 at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
American Pharoah’s Kentucky Derby Victory Headlines NBC Special on “First Saturday In May” – this Sat., May 2 at 3 p.m. ET; Tim Layden’s “The Meaning of the Derby” Essay Available Now
Coverage Will be Streamed on NBCSports.com & the NBC Sports app
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 30, 2020 – Live coverage of the Arkansas Derby and classic Rose Bowl games on NBCSN culminate NBC Sports’ special “Run for the Roses” presentation this Saturday, May 2.
Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC with the special The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown, followed by TVG Trackside Live at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, headlined by live coverage of the Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Arkansas. A trio of classic Rose Bowl games cap off the day, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
This year’s unique Arkansas Derby is set to feature 20 horses in a pair of 10-horse fields, with the top four finishers in each $500,000 Grade 1 race awarded qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5. The only other time that the Arkansas Derby has been split was in 1960 when it ran in two divisions.
Three winners of the Arkansas Derby have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, including Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015. American Pharoah’s trainer, two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert, has two strong contenders to headline the field: Charlatan was drawn in the first division, while Nadal was drawn in the second division.
In the first division, Charlatan is the even-money morning line favorite. A son of Speightstown, Charlatan has won his two career starts by a total of 16 lengths. The Todd Pletcher-trained Gouverneur Morris (9/2 morning line) is likely to be Charlatan’s closest competition, finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) in March. Another strong contender is Anneau d’Or (6-1 morning line), who finished second in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Nadal headlines the second division as the morning line favorite (5/2) and is undefeated in three career starts, which includes Grade 2 wins in the Rebel Stakes and San Vicente Stakes. He will face stiff competition from King Guillermo (3-1 morning line), owned by former MLB All-Star Victor Martinez. Another top contender is last year’s champion 2-year-old male, Storm the Court (6-1 morning line).
NBC Sports’ Randy Moss, Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Arkansas Derby winner Jerry Bailey, Eddie Olczyk and Britney Eurton will join Saturday’s Arkansas Derby coverage.
NBCSN simulcasts TVG Trackside Live throughout the weekend, beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, May 1 and Sunday, May 3. NBCSN will continue to present Trackside Live from Friday through Sunday every week through at least Sunday, May 31, as the networks team up to bring more horse racing to more fans.
Live coverage will be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.
THE FIRST SATURDAY IN MAY: AMERICAN PHAROAH’S RUN TO THE TRIPLE CROWN AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBC
NBC Sports presents a special show The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown, this Saturday, May 2 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. The three-hour special will look back at American Pharoah’s victory in the 141st Kentucky Derby, while introducing new stories and content. In addition, the broadcast will highlight Churchill Downs’ first-ever virtual horse race – The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown, a computer-simulated race between the 13 Triple Crown winners under the historic Twin Spires.
Host Mike Tirico, and analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby winner Jerry Bailey will provide remote commentary throughout the NBC broadcast. Reporter Kenny Rice, a Kentucky resident, will be on-site at Churchill Downs with the latest horse racing news and perspective from the track. In addition, Tim Layden will present an essay entitled “The Meaning of the Derby,” which is now available here. For more information, click here.
NBC SPORTS FROM THE VAULT – ROSE BOWL STARTING AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Following Saturday’s live coverage of the Arkansas Derby, NBC Sports From the Vault continues at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN with classic Rose Bowl games featuring USC and Big Ten opponents, Ohio State and Michigan State. USC legends and some of the biggest names in college football history will be on display, including Pat Haden, Jack Del Rio, John McKay Jr., Keith Byars, and Andre Rison.
Four-time Super Bowl champion and former USC safety Ronnie Lott, who was a part of the USC team that edged the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 1980 Rose Bowl, will offer special commentary throughout the 1975 Rose Bowl.
NBC Sports host Liam McHugh introduces Rose Bowl presentations on Saturday’s coverage. Game presentations will include a specialized ticker featuring live tweets. Fans can tweet #NBCSNVault for the chance to see their tweets live on air.
Commentators for the classic games from Pasadena include: Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, and Ross Porter for the 1975 game; and Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen for the 1985 and 1988 games.
At 8 p.m. ET, the 1975 Rose Bowl marked the third consecutive year No. 5 USC and the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes matched up in the bowl game, featuring a thrilling conclusion when Rhodes scholar Haden threw a Trojan touchdown to teammate McKay Jr. and completed a successful two-point conversion to Shelton Diggs with just over two minutes remaining. The Trojans narrowly won against the Buckeyes, 18-17.
Coverage continues at 10 p.m. ET with the 1988 Rose Bowl when Michigan State made their first trip to Pasadena in 22 years, defeating USC 20-17. With 4:14 left in the fourth quarter, Michigan State’s John Langeloh kicked a 36-yard field goal for the game winner, which ended the Big Ten’s six-game losing streak in the Rose Bowl.
The night concludes at 1 a.m. ET with the 1985 Rose Bowl, showing how underdogs USC prevailed defensively over Ohio State’s potent offense featuring Heisman Trophy runner-up Keith Byars, 20-17. USC held the Ohio State offense to just three fields goals in the first three quarters and forced three costly interceptions.
Following is this weekend’s NBC Sports programming schedule (all times ET, subject to change):
|Fri., May 1
|TVG Trackside Live
|Sat., May 2
|The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby)
|Sat., May 2
|TVG Trackside Live – Arkansas Derby
|Sat., May 2
|NBC Sports From the Vault – 1975 Rose Bowl: No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 5 USC
|Sat., May 2
|NBC Sports From the Vault – 1988 Rose Bowl: No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 16 USC
|Sat., May 2
|NBC Sports From the Vault – 1985 Rose Bowl: No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 18 USC
|Sun., May 3
|TVG Trackside Live
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.