NBC to Air Special on American Pharoah on May 2

April 28, 2020

With the Kentucky Derby postponed until Sept. 5, NBC Sports presents a special show on NBC at 3 p.m. ET this Saturday, May 2—the traditional “first Saturday in May”—headlined by American Pharoah ‘s Kentucky Derby win five years ago. It was a day that launched a magical year in horse racing.

The three-hour The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown will look back at American Pharoah’s down-to-the-wire 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 version of a race between the 13 past 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 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. During the telecast, fans will be provided with on-screen information on how they can help with Coronavirus relief. NBC Sports, Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs will also provide unique companion content across their social media platforms.

This Saturday’s coverage will include:

—A new interview with trainer Bob Baffert, trainer of Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify , and jockey Mike Smith, who teamed with Baffert on Justify in 2018;

—A look at 2020’s top three-year-olds heading into the summer racing season;

—Video from Churchill Downs during the show;

Larry Collmus‘ call of the 2015 Kentucky Derby, watched by nearly 18 million viewers as American Pharoah crossed the finish line;

—A look in on American Pharoah, at his stable at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky;

—An essay by Tim Layden offering perspective on the meaning of the Kentucky Derby. Layden will provide additional commentary and articles on NBC Sports.com throughout the week;

—The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown virtual horse race (additional details below).

Churchill Downs’ First-Ever Virtual Horse Race—Featuring 13 Triple Crown Winners

The NBC broadcast will feature Churchill Downs’ first virtual horse race—The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown, which will be called by NBC Sports’ Triple Crown race caller Larry Collmus. The virtual race, created by Inspired Entertainment, will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms including historical handicapping information about each horse, which helps to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions. 

Beginning this Thursday, April 30, fans will be able to visit www.KentuckyDerby.com to choose their favorite horse to win the virtual race and join Churchill Downs in making a charitable donation to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts.

Special #KYDerbyatHome Content from NBC Sports, Kentucky Derby & Churchill Downs

NBC Sports has created a special “Kentucky Derby Safe At Home Experience” using the hashtag #KYDerbyatHome and available at NBCSports.com/KYDerbyAtHome. The activation includes a downloadable party kit complete with food and cocktail recipes, at-home fashion tips, and art projects for kids and adults. In addition, follow @NBCSports on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for live looks around Churchill Downs and content from at-home parties across the country.

Fans can also follow @KentuckyDerby on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check in for regular updates at www.kentuckyderbyparty.com.

Viewers are encouraged to post their home Derby Party experiences using #KyDerbyAtHome this Saturday. 

LIVE Horse Racing on Derby Day—Arkansas Derby at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Following the special NBC Derby Day show this Saturday, NBCSN presents TVG Trackside Live at 6 p.m. ET, headlined by live coverage of the Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

This year’s unique Arkansas Derby will feature 22 horses in a pair of 11-horse fields, with the winner of each Grade 1 race earning 100 qualifying points towards the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby. American Pharoah’s trainer, two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert, has two strong contenders: Charlatan (undefeated in two career starts) was drawn in the first division, while Nadal (undefeated in three career starts) was drawn in the second division. American Pharoah was the last Arkansas Derby winner to triumph in the Kentucky Derby. 

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.


Sat., May 2, 3 p.m. 

The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby) NBC

Sat., May 16, 5 p.m. 

The Middle Jewel: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown (Preakness Stakes) NBC

Sat., June 6, 4 p.m. 

Finally the One: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown (Belmont Stakes) NBC

Sat., June 13, 4 p.m.

Horse of a Lifetime: American Pharoah’s Run to History (Breeders’ Cup Classic) NBC

Sat., June 20, 9 a.m.

Royal Ascot (LIVE) NBC 

NBC Special News Release

Photo: American Pharoah wins the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Credit: Bob Baffert 

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