The Preakness Stakes will be held outside of the month of May for the first time since the Second World War after being officially rescheduled for October 3.
The second leg of US horse racing’s Triple Crown was due to be held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 16 but was put back as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan revealed the new date live on NBC, which televises the race in the US, about an hour before the Preakness was originally due to be run this year.
“Under normal circumstances, I would be standing at Pimlico…presenting the Woodlawn Trophy to the winner of the 145th Preakness Stakes,” Hogan said. “But as we all know these are not ordinary circumstances. However, I am proud to make this announcement on behalf of the state, the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland’s historic racing industry that Preakness 145 will be held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 3.”
It remains unclear if crowds will be allowed at the Preakness in October. It will now be held four weeks after the Kentucky Derby, which has been put back until September 5.
The Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, remains scheduled for June 6, though this is likely to change. In a boost, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the green light for horse racing to resume across the state, starting on June 1.
The Preakness will remain at Pimlico Race Course for the foreseeable future after a bill was passed last week to redevelop the historic but dilapidated racetrack. The Racing and Community Development Act paves the way for the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $375m in bonds to upgrade Pimlico Race Course and convert it into a year-round multi-purpose venue.