NBC Sports Group presents 6.5 hours of coverage of the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. For the first time since 2009, the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby - American Pharoah, Firing Line, and Dortmund - return to compete in the Preakness. Coverage from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., begins Friday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminates with the Preakness Stakes Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

With a win Saturday at the Preakness Stakes, American Pharoah will head to the Belmont aiming to become the first horse to win the elusive Triple Crown since Affirmed, with jockey Steve Cauthen, in 1978.  NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes begins Friday, June 5.

COMMENTATORS:

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby features hosts Bob Costas, a 26-time Emmy Award-winner, and Tom Hammond, a veteran NBC Sports commentator; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Preakness winner; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; and race caller Larry Collmus. Josh Elliott and Carolyn Manno provide a mix of features and interviews at Pimlico Race Course. Elliott hosts NBCSN’s Black Eyed Susan Stakes coverage this Friday, May 15.

FEATURES AND STORYLINES:

Following are the features NBC Sports Group will present on its Preakness coverage:

•    Josh Elliott examines the new and returning shooters;
•    Elliott tells the story of Afleet Alex, who won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes 10 years ago, and how owners Cash Is King Stable pledged a percentage of the colt’s earnings to be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an American pediatric cancer charity. Donations to date have totaled more than $100 million;
•    A look at the owners of American Pharoah, the Zayat family;
•    A profile on jockey Victor Espinoza, who won the Kentucky Derby on American Pharoah one year after taking California Chrome to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes wins.

The coordinating producer of NBC’s horse racing coverage is Rob Hyland, who has been a part of the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001. The Preakness Stakes is directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports’ horse racing director, Drew Esocoff.

The coverage on NBCSN is produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Charlie Dammeyer. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 12 Triple Crown races for the network.