Where to Watch/Listen During 2020 Arkansas Derby Week

Events / Travel
Racing at Oaklawn Park. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The horse racing world like all other areas of society continues to make changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis. Racetracks across America have either postponed live racing or prohibited anyone other than essential employees from entering. Charities are ramping up services to help track workers during these hard times, including the Race Track Chaplaincy, New York Division, while many other organizations including the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation are redirecting resources to support medical efforts to combat the spread of the virus and support backstretch workers. (All proceeds from the Old Smoke T-shirt on sale below will go to the TJC Safety Net Foundation.)

Many racetracks have cancelled or postponed their meets during April/May, but racing continues at a few tracks across the country that have instituted strict safety screening protocols for essential employees who are already on the grounds to provide daily care for horses. Last month, Churchill Downs announced the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve would be rescheduled to Sept. 5, and the iconic Louisville, Ky., track has also postponed the start of its spring meet, originally scheduled for April 25.

As a partial substitute, NBC will present three hours of Kentucky Derby coverage on May 2 from 3-6 p.m. ET.  The three-hour telecast features "The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown," which looks back at American Pharoah’s down-to-the-wire victory in the 141st Kentucky Derby, while introducing new stories and content. Host Mike Tirico and analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will provide remote commentary throughout the broadcast, and Kenny Rice will be on-site at Churchill Downs reporting 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 COVID-19 relief. 

NBC's broadcast is also highlighted by “The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown,” a virtual race that brings together the 13 past Triple Crown winners in a computer-simulated version of the American classic. For more information, click here.

Following the Kentucky Derby’s rescheduling, Oaklawn Park announced that the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby would be moved from April 11 to May 2. The race has been split into two divisions, and they will anchor a spectacular closing-day card at the Hot Springs, Ark., track that also includes the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. Oaklawn’s card on Friday, May 1 is highlighted by the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, taking the spot usually reserved for the Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, which has been rescheduled for Sept. 4.

Those four stakes races will be broadcast live on the Fox Sports show “America’s Day at the Races” as well as TVG's “Trackside Live” show airing on its home network and also simulcast by NBCSN. Post times for the stakes are as follows: Fantasy Stakes on May 1, 6:09 p.m. ET; Arkansas Derby first division on May 2, 6:29 p.m. ET; Oaklawn Handicap on May 2, 7:04 p.m.; Arkansas Derby second division on May 2, 7:43 p.m. ET.

This week, NYRA-produced "America's Day at the Races" will air on Friday, May 1, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on FS2. The show will broadcast the entirety of Oaklawn’s Saturday racecard on May 2 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on FS1 and from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on FS2. And on Sunday, May 3, “America’s Day at the Races” will air on FS2 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET on FS2 and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1, showing live racing from Tampa Bay Downs.

“America’s Day at the Races” is presented by Runhappy, Claiborne Farm and America's Best Racing. Hosted by Greg Wolf and Laffit Pincay III, the upcoming weekend's broadcast team includes Gary Stevens, Michelle Yu, Tom Amoss and Jonathon Kinchen

“Trackside Live” will air from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Friday and Sunday on both TVG and NBCSN. The show will air during its usual bloc Saturday on TVG, and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on NBCSN following the Kentucky Derby-related programming on NBC. TVG also will show live racing from other racetracks as per usual, including Gulfstream Park, starting earlier in the day as part of its comprehensive package.  

A don’t-miss highlight of this weekend’s radio coverage is “The Winner’s Circle,” America’s Best Racing’s podcast presented by NYRA Bets. The show, hosted by Bram Weinstein and featuring analysis from Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, airs at 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays through Nov. 7 on SB Nation RadioSubscribe to "The Winner's Circle" on Apple Podcasts to listen to archived episodes.

This Saturday's featured guest is Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, winner of four Kentucky Derbys and 14 Triple Crown races in total.

Here’s a rundown of television and radio coverage for the upcoming weekend.

TV Schedule

Date

Program

Time

Network

May 1

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 1

"America's Day at the Races," featuring live coverage of horse racing from Oaklawn Park

4 p.m.-7 p.m.

FS2

May 1

TVG's "Trackside Live," featuring live coverage of horse racing from Oaklawn Park and other tracks

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

May 2

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 2

"America's Day at the Races," featuring live coverage of horse racing from Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs

1 p.m.-8 p.m. on FS1; 8-8:30 p.m. on FS2

FS1 and FS2

May 2

Special broadcast featuring a replay of American Pharoah's win in the 2015 Kentucky Derby, “The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown” virtual race, and other features

3 p.m.-6 p.m.

NBC

May 2

TVG's "Trackside Live," featuring live coverage of horse racing from Oaklawn Park and other tracks

6 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

May 3

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 3

"America's Day at the Races," featuring live coverage of horse racing 

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. on FS2; 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on FS1

FS1 and FS2

May 3

TVG's "Trackside Live," featuring live coverage of horse racing

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

Note: All times listed are Eastern

Radio Schedule

Date Program Time Network
April 28 At The Races with Steve Byk: NYRA's Andy Serling, Horse Health, and other guests 9 a.m. Thoroughbred Radio Network
April 29 At The Races with Steve Byk: eNicks' Sid Fernando, Tourney Talk with Pete Fornatale, and other guests 9 a.m. Thoroughbred Radio Network
April 29 Red Brand Radio 3 p.m. HRRN
April 29 Trainer Talk Presented by Fasig-Tipton 6 p.m. HRRN
April 30 At The Races with Steve Byk: Shedrow Confidential with Steve Haskin, Vegas Racebook with Rich Eng, and other guests 9 a.m. Thoroughbred Radio Network
April 30 Red Brand Radio 3 p.m. HRRN
April 30 Brisnet Call-In Show 6 p.m. HRRN
May 1 At The Races with Steve Byk: Weekend Preview with Daily Racing Form correspondents, Brisnet's Ed DeRosa, and other guests 9 a.m. Thoroughbred Radio Network
May 1 Red Brand Radio 3 p.m. HRRN
May 1 Weekend Stakes Preview Presented by NYRA Bets 6 p.m. HRRN
May 2 Equine Forum Show 8 a.m. HRRN
May 2 Off to the Races on The Racing Biz Radio Network 10 a.m. ESPN 950 AM
May 2 "The Winner's Circle" presented by NYRA Bets, with host Bram Weinstein, analyst Gary Stevens, and featured guest D. Wayne Lukas 10 a.m. SB Nation Radio
May 2 Kentucky Derby 140 replay 3-5 p.m. HRRN
May 2 HRRN Fantasy Derby 5-6 p.m. HRRN

Note: All times listed are Eastern

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