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NBC Sports Group and Royal Ascot Partner on Six-Year Media Rights Extension

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NBC Sports Group, the Home of Horse Racing, Will Present More than 20 Live Hours of Royal Ascot Race Coverage Annually, With Increased On-Site Presence

Live Coverage of Royal Ascot Will Be Streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 8, 2018 – NBC Sports Group and the Royal Meeting in Ascot, Berkshire, England – one of the most prestigious horse racing meets in the world – have reached a six-year agreement to extend NBC Sports Group’s exclusive United States media rights to the event through 2025. Royal Ascot made its U.S. television debut on NBCSN in 2017.

NBC Sports Group will continue to present live coverage of the mid-June event for four consecutive days (Tuesday-Friday) with at least 4.5 hours each day (8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, and four hours of coverage during the final day of the event (Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET) on NBC. In addition, NBC Sports will feature on-site hosts during its coverage, and offer an increased on-site presence. All 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.

Royal Ascot is one of the world’s most valuable horse racing events, attracting many of the world’s finest racehorses to compete for more than $9 million in prize money.  The event features 30 races, including eight at world championship “Grade One” level.

“For the past two years, we have introduced an American audience to the pageantry and incredible racing that Royal Ascot has to offer,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Royal Ascot and delighting horse racing fans nationwide for years to come.”

“NBC Sports has added a welcome new element to Royal Ascot and this extension ensures that the American audience will continue to be able to enjoy the best racing, and the best of British culture, fashion and pageantry for the next six years,” said Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer, Ascot. “The commitment NBC Sports has shown in terms of extensive on-course presentation, and talent on site, including within the TODAY show, is a great tribute to the event. Being on the NBC broadcast network on Saturday reaped huge reward this year with more than one million viewers.”

“The American runners we have seen at the Royal Meeting have added a new dimension to our historic meet, and NBC Sports has played a significant part in telling the global racing story to the U.S. audience,” added Nick Smith, Director of Racing at Ascot. “With star names from Royal Ascot – American horses like Tepin, Bucchero and Yoshida, plus numerous Europeans – running at the Breeders’ Cup in the fall each year, NBC Sports is the place to see the world’s best.”

As the home of horse racing, NBC Sports Group’s Royal Ascot coverage will complement its exclusive, long-term media agreements for all of the Triple Crown races – Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes – and the Breeders’ Cup.

The Royal Meeting is also the center of the British social season and a staple week in the calendar of the Royal Family, who arrive every day by the world famous “Royal Procession” – by which The Queen and members of her family arrive at the racecourse every day.

NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: In addition to the Royal Ascot, NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup. Also in 2018, NBC Sports Group televised the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Epsom Derby. 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.

What to know about the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby

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The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of fans tune into NBC to watch top race horses from around the globe compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.”

What is the Kentucky Derby? The Kentucky Derby, run the first Saturday in May, is one of the most well known Grade 1 Thoroughbred stakes races in the world. First run in 1875, this 1 1/4 mile–or 10 furlongs–race kicks off the American Triple Crown of horse racing.

When and where is the 2019 Kentucky Derby? The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 4, 2019 with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET.

The Derby is run on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

How can I watch the 2019 Kentucky Derby? NBC is home to the 145th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV and NBCSports.com before, during and after. NBC will also broadcast the 2019 Preakness Stakes and 2019 Belmont Stakes.

How are horses picked for the Derby? Only 3-year-old Thoroughbreds can qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Eligible horses compete in the Race to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 35 races around the world. Horses win points for finishing in the top four spots, and the 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series gain entry into the Derby.

Who won the 2018 Kentucky Derby? WinStar Farm’s colt Justify, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, won the 144th Kentucky Derby. He went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, becoming the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown.

What are the biggest Kentucky Derby traditions? Bold formal outfits for both men and women are synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. Celebrities and fans a like go all out, donning creative and colorful hats, bright colors and wild patterns. In fact, hats and outfits are such a big part of the Kentucky Derby that the Derby Museum has a whole exhibit for the most lavished fashions.

The Mint Julep, made with Kentucky bourbon, is the signature drink of the Derby, and Kentucky’s state song “My Old Kentucky Home” is played during the pre-race post parade. After the race, the champion horse is given the iconic garland of roses in the winner’s circle.

What else is there to do during Derby Weekend? The Kentucky Oaks is a Grade 1 stakes race held annually the day before the Kentucky Derby. The Oaks has the same 3-year-old restriction as the Derby but is for fillies only. Additionally, there is a week of events at Churchill Downs, and the month-long Kentucky Derby Festival celebrated across Louisville.

Jockey Craig Perret among nine finalists for HOF

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Jockey Craig Perret, trainers Mark Casse, Christophe Clement and David Whiteley, and five thoroughbreds are contemporary finalists for the National Museum of Racing’s 2019 Hall of Fame ballot.

The racehorses are Blind Luck, Gio Ponti, Havre de Grace, Rags to Riches and Royal Delta.

Results of the voting on the contemporary candidates will be announced April 22. All candidates that receive majority approval of the voting panel will be elected to the Hall of Fame.

The hall’s induction ceremony will be held Aug. 2 in Saratoga Springs.