Although the Covid-19 pandemic has put pay to many people’s plans in 2020, Maryland residents can look forward to the return of the Preakness Stakes horse race. October 3 will see this Grade 1 stakes race taking place at the legendary Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. It will be the 145th running of this Triple Crown race and it always proves to be a pivotal moment in the horse racing calendar.
However, this year’s Preakness Stakes will be very different from previous incarnations of the horse race. The race is usually run on the third Saturday in May following the Kentucky Derby. But the ongoing public health crisis has meant that the race has been delayed by over four months. This makes it the first time that the Preakness Stakes has taken place outside of May.
Plus it was announced on September 2 that the 2020 Preakness Stakes will be held without any spectators. Despite this, racing fans can still visit resources like HorseBetting.com and find a bookmaker that features odds and even live streaming of the action. However, the Pimlico Race Course will face a massive drop in revenues as a result of the lack of attendees. In 2019, there were over 131,000 racing fans there to witness the Preakness Stakes.
While the lack of crowds might dent the race day atmosphere, this year’s race promises to be another spectacular installment of horse racing entertainment. This is because the Preakness Stakes always manages to deliver quality performances from the best racehorses in the nation. In 1973 the legendary racehorse Secretariat set the speed record of 1:53, while famous trainers like Bob Baffert have enjoyed some of their most iconic results at this horse race.
2019 saw the War of Will racehorse enjoy a winning performance to pick up the prize purse of $1,650,000. The racehorse and jockey Tyler Gaffalione managed to hold off strong challenges from the likes of Everfast and Owendale to claim the prize for trainer Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber,
This year will present an equally thrilling competition. While racing fans will be missed, this year’s Kentucky Derby showed that top-class racing events can go ahead in these difficult times. The 2020 Kentucky Derby saw Authentic shock the racing world by beating the clear favorite Tiz the Law. This was further proof that big upsets are always possible at Triple Crown races, and there’s every indication that this year’s Preakness Stakes could throw up plenty of surprises.
What’s interesting is that Tiz the Law will skip the upcoming Preakness Stakes. The racehorse’s owner Jack Knowlton made the announcement via social media, and it means that this race is even more wide open. It also gives Authentic a great chance to follow up its Kentucky Derby win. Authentic is trained by Bob Baffert, and a Baffert-trained Derby winner has never lost the Preakness Stakes.
However, there are plenty more decent runners in the 2020 Preakness Stakes. Many are suggesting that the Blue Grass Stakes winner Art Collector may have what it takes to win this race after missing the Kentucky Derby. Similarly, the Bob Baffert-trained Thousand Words is another contender who could perform well in this year’s Preakness Stakes.
The nine and a half furlongs of this horse race is notorious for throwing up plenty of surprises. The famous dirt track has always proved to be a real challenge, and the Pimlico grandstand will definitely be missing the thousands of racing fans who usually attend. It’s been a tricky few years for the racecourse with an estimated $250 million in renovations required to maintain the property.
However, the Maryland state legislature granted the Maryland Stadium Authority the right to issue $375 million in bonds in May 2020. This would help to renovate both the Pimlico Race Course, as well as Laurel Park – the other property owned by The Stronach Group. This means that when the current health crisis has passed, racing fans can look forward to seeing this legendary horse race again in person.