The 102d running of the Preakness Stakes will be at Aqueduct Race Course in New York City Saturday, May 21, if the present strike by track employees against Maryland's major ovals prevents the race being run at Pimlico.
Officials of the Baltimore track declined to give Aqueduct the Preakness blessing yesterday, but a reliable source in New York confirmed that such an agreement had been reached.
Chick Lang, general manager of Pimlico, acknowledged that "Aqueduct would be the most likely place for the Preakness to be offered, if we can't get the strike settled from here.
"We've received overtures from everyone but Charles Town (W. Va.) and Jefferson Downs (La.)," Lang said. "We have made no promises, but Aqueduct would be most likely for a couple of reasons, particularly in that, in the immortal words of Ichabod Crane, the Triple Crown is to be run over three distances within a period of five weeks."
Aqueduct closes May 21, whereupon New York racing shifts to Belmont Park, with the Belmont Stakes june 11. The Kentucky Derby starts the Triply Crown series May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
"We've never considered not running the Preakness," Lang added. "We have always said the race will be run, somewhere, if it can't be here. But we are not going to have an official statement until on or about April 15. We feel a statement would be made at that time, because it would take that long for any track to properly prepare for the event."