Kentucky Derby a ratings winner

Most-watched since 2004

NBC's coverage of Saturday's Kentucky Derby was the most watched since Smarty Jones tore up the track in 2004.

The race portion between 5:43 p.m. EDT and 6:39 p.m. EDT averaged 14.2 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday. It was also the second-most-watched Derby in 17 years.

Big Brown won Saturday's race, while the second-place Eight Belles was severely injured after a fall and had to be euthanized. Big Brown will next go to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes, which will air on NBC beginning at 4:30 p.m. EDT May 17.

Saturday's race was up 3% in viewers from last year's 13.8 million and averaged an 8.8/21, the same as last year when the Queen of England visited the Churchill Downs track.