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124th Kentucky Derby

WHEN/WHERE: 5:27 p.m. Saturday; Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

RACE DAY TV: Ch. 28, 4:30 p.m. ESPN2 offers a behind-the-scenes look at the final morning preparations 8-9 a.m., then race-day analysis from noon to 2 p.m. ESPN will cover from 2-4:30, setting the stage for ABC's 90-minute show. ESPN2 will do a Derby wrapup 6-7.

CONDITIONS: 1\ mile for 3-year-olds carrying 126 pounds. The purse is $1-million.

PROBABLE FAVORITES: Indian Charlie (undefeated Santa Anita Derby winner, trained by Bob Baffert, who saddled last year's winner, Silver Charm); Halory Hunter (Blue Grass Stakes winner, owned by Celtics coach Rick Pitino); Favorite Trick (2-year-old champion, lost for first time in 10 starts when he finished third in the Arkansas Derby).

POST-POSITION DRAW: In a subtle change this year, the number drawn will not necessarily correspond to the horse's post position. Instead, it will give the horse's connections that pick for post, adding an element of strategy to what was the luck of the draw. For instance, a horse that wants to run on the lead would want to avoid an outside post, but would not want to be sandwiched between other speed horses. A late-running horse, conversely, would covet an outside position so he could settle into a spot and save ground. The draw will be televised 5-6 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN.

SIMULCAST OPTIONS: Tampa Bay Downs will offer the card from Churchill Downs as well as its 10 live races, including the track's first turf event, a $15,000 handicap for colts and geldings, 3-year-olds and up, going 1 1/16-mile. Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track also will simulcast all of Churchill's races. Tampa Jai-Alai will have the Derby and will follow that with its regularly scheduled jai-alai action.

_ BRIAN LANDMAN

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