Road to the Kentucky Derby: How to watch Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby this weekend


NBC and Peacock have got you covered with another action-packed weekend of horse racing. The $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (G1)  and $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1) take place this Saturday, April 8 at 4 PM ET. The Blue Grass Stakes will take place at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky and the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Both events, which will award a total of 200 Kentucky Derby qualification points, are key races leading into the 2023 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6.

2023 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) winner Tapit Trice, a $1.3 million auction purchase who closed as the third-favorite in last weekend’s final Kentucky Derby future pool, will be making his Grade 1 debut. Tapit Trice and 2023 Gotham Stakes (G3) winner Raise Cain are expected to lead the 11-horse field in the Blue Grass Stakes.

National Treasure, who finished third in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), and Practical Move, the winner of the 2023 San Felipe Stakes (G2), are expected to be top contenders in the Santa Anita Derby.

RELATED: Road to the Kentucky Derby – Blue Grass Stakes a major test for Tapit Trice

How to Watch Horse Racing on NBC Sports this Weekend

  • Key Races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby: Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby
  • Date: Saturday, April 8
  • Time: 4:00 PM ET
  • TV Network: NBC
  • Streaming: Peacock,, NBC Sports app

Upcoming Horse Racing on NBC Sports

  • May 5th and 6th: Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby
  • May 20th: Preakness Stakes

What is the Road to the Kentucky Derby?

There are twenty slots at the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby. To get there, horses need to accumulate points by bagging a top-four finish at other qualified races. The twenty horses with the most points have a shot at the most exciting two minutes in sports.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby includes races in the U.S., Europe, and Japan beginning in September. The Louisiana Derby, the Florida Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, and the Santa Anita Derby are four of the final stops on the Road to the Kentucky Derby—the last chance for jockeys and thoroughbreds to prove themselves worthy of Churchill Downs.

When is the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 6th, and will air across the networks of NBC Sports and Peacock.

How can I watch horse racing on Peacock?

Sign up here to watch all of our LIVE sports and events, including horse racing.

For more horse racing coverage and the latest on the road to the Kentucky Derby, visit

Forte works out, waits for Belmont Stakes clearance

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NEW YORK — Forte, the early Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on the day of the race, worked out in preparation for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., Forte worked five-eighths of a mile for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. It was the colt’s second workout since being scratched from the Derby on May 6.

“It seems like he’s maintained his fitness level,” Pletcher said. “It seems like everything is in good order.”

Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list after being scratched from the Derby because of a bruised right front foot. In order to be removed from the list, the colt had to work in front of a state veterinarian and give a blood sample afterward, the results of which take five days.

“There’s protocols in place and we had to adhere to those and we’re happy that everything went smoothly,” Pletcher said. “We felt confident the horse was in good order or we wouldn’t have been out there twice in the last six days, but you still want to make sure everything went smoothly and we’re happy everything did go well.”

Pletcher said Kingsbarns, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the Belmont. The colt is showing signs of colic, although he is fine, the trainer said.

Another Pletcher-trained horse, Prove Worthy, is under consideration for the Belmont. He also has Tapit Trice, who finished seventh in the Derby, being pointed toward the Belmont.

Judge grants Churchill Downs’ request for summary judgment to dismiss Bob Baffert’s lawsuit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge has granted Churchill Downs’ motion for summary judgment that dismisses Bob Baffert’s claim the track breached due process by suspending the Hall of Fame trainer for two years.

Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert in June 2021 after his now-deceased colt, Medina Spirit, failed a postrace drug test after crossing the finish line first in the 147th Kentucky Derby. The trainer’s request to lift the discipline was denied in February, keeping him out of the Derby for a second consecutive May.

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings ruled in a 12-page opinion issued Wednesday that Churchill Downs’ suspension of Baffert did not devalue his Kentucky trainer’s license. It cited his purse winnings exceeding $1 million at Keeneland in Lexington and stated that his argument “amounts to a false analogy that distorts caselaw.”

Jennings denied CDI’s motion to stay discovery as moot.

The decision comes less than a week after Baffert-trained colt National Treasure won the Preakness in his first Triple Crown race in two years. His record eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown came hours after another of his horses, Havnameltdown, was euthanized following an injury at Pimlico.

Churchill Downs said in a statement that it was pleased with the court’s favorable ruling as in Baffert’s other cases.

It added, “While he may choose to file baseless appeals, this completes the seemingly endless, arduous and unnecessary litigation proceedings instigated by Mr. Baffert.”

Baffert’s suspension is scheduled to end on June 2, but the track’s release noted its right to extend it “and will communicate our decision” at its conclusion.