Racing

Preakness Stakes postponed to Oct 3 due to Covid-19

Pimlico Race Course, which is currently being used as a drive-through coronavirus testing centre, will host the 145th Preakness Stakes on Oct 3, officials announced on Saturday.

The announcement was made at the Baltimore race track by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

The race is traditionally held on the third Sunday of May, but was postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

"Under normal circumstances, I would be standing at Pimlico presenting the Woodlawn Trophy to the winner of the 145th Preakness Stakes," said Hogan. "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 Oct 3."

Saturday's announcement is based on the condition that the federal government's pandemic mitigation tactics work over the summer, and that there isn't a second wave of Covid-19 infections in the fall as many health experts are now predicting.

The Preakness is the second Triple Crown race to get a new date.

The Kentucky Derby was previously rescheduled for Sept 5, so now only the Belmont Stakes has yet to determine a new race day.

Preakness officials are hopeful the race will still be the second of the three Triple Crown races, but that won't be officially known until the Belmont Stakes picks a new date.

The Belmont was postponed from its original June 6 date.

On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said horse racing without fans can begin in the state on June 1. - AFP

HORSE RACING