“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.”
Churchill Downs announced March 17 that it would postpone the Kentucky Derby to Sept. 5 from its traditional date on the first Saturday in May because of the pandemic, which has placed sports throughout the country on hold indefinitely.
The first leg of the Triple Crown had been held outside of May twice since the inaugural running of the Derby in 1875. In 1945, the race took place June 9, after a federal ban on horse racing during World War II, implemented in January of that year, was lifted.
From 1923 to 1931, the Preakness came before the Derby.
The running of the Belmont Stakes remains in flux, according to the New York Racing Authority, which operates the final leg of the Triple Crown that had been scheduled for June 6. The New York Racing Authority indicated in March it was working with “all appropriate parties” regarding the timing of this year’s race.
Should the Belmont Stakes be moved to a date between the Derby and Preakness, it would mean a Triple Crown could be clinched in Baltimore for the first time.
It’s unclear whether spectators will be permitted at Pimlico for the event.
“We don’t know where we’re going to be in October with respect to public gatherings, if it will be spectator-free or not. … But obviously, if there’s a Triple Crown on the line, it will be a very big day,” Alan Foreman, general counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, told the Baltimore Sun.