The Preakness Stakes is an American thoroughbred horse race normally held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
It is a Grade I race, run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs (1 3⁄16 miles) on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds, fillies 121 pounds.
It is (again normally) the second jewel of the Triple Crown, held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.
The Preakness Stakes was first contested in 1873, and was named by a former Maryland governor after a Winning colt at Pimlico.
The race has been termed The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans because a blanket of yellow flowers altered to resemble Maryland’s state flower is placed across the withers of the Winning colt or filly.
Attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America among equestrian events, only surpassed by the Kentucky Derby.
Even the most casual of race fans probably knows that the Preakness follows the Kentucky Derby.
When the Winning horse from the Derby elects to run in the next leg of the Triple Crown series the anticipation (in the race world) reaches a fever pitch during the two weeks leading up to the race.
This year not so much.
The 145th running of the Preakness Stakes is Saturday, October 3rd. The schedule change is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s contest is being held four weeks after the also-delayed Kentucky Derby. It will be held without spectators for health reasons because of the outbreak.
This will be the first time since the 1945 Triple Crown races (which were affected by World War II) that the Preakness has taken place outside of its regular May schedule.
The 2020 Belmont Stakes was run on June 20th, while the 2020 Kentucky Derby was held on September 5th. Hence the Preakness became the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown.
The final leg of the TC Series can be very exciting, and exhilarating if a horse is vying for the Triple Crown.
But horse racing is not immune to the dumpster-fire ways of this calendar year. Different horses Won the Belmont (TIZ THE LAW) and the Kentucky Derby (AUTHENTIC), so there can be no Triple Crown Winner in 2020.
None the less, the Daily Racing Blog will be looking at Preakness field in the upcoming weeks, so be sure to check back with us.