New date for Preakness Stakes to be announced during TV special

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Cloud Computing edges out Classic Empire to win the 2017 Preakness Stakes. Photo by World Red Eye.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Belinda Stronach, the chairman and president of the Stronach Group, which owns the Maryland Jockey Club, will announce the new date of the 145th Preakness Stakes during a TV special on May 16, the original date for the race.

NBC Sports is airing a special on the 2015 Preakness–won by eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah–starting at 5 p.m. Hogan and Stronach will joint host Mike Tirico at the start of the show to announce a new date for the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

After that, race organizers are holding a one-hour Preakness at Home livestream that will be hosted by NBC Sports’ Laffit Pincay III and XBTV’s Zoe Cadman. The show starts at 6 p.m. on the Preakness’ Facebook page and will feature cameos from Hall of Fame trainer and seven-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert and Triple Crown winning jockey Mike Smith, plus messages from Orioles legends Cal Ripken Jr. and Jim Palmer.

The Preakness Stakes was slated to take place on Saturday until the coronavirus forced organizers to postpone the event.

The Kentucky Derby, which has traditionally led off the Triple Crown series, has already been rescheduled from May 2 to Sept. 5.

Preakness InfieldFest, the annual concert event that draws thousands of music fans to Pimlico Race Course during the race, was cancelled this year. Rapper DaBaby and EDM artist Marshmello were scheduled to headline.

But Preakness at Home is aiming to keep the music alive with the first Drive-InFieldFest, a concert featuring a live DJ set by D-Nice.

The show will also take viewers behind the scenes of the race, include a mashup of musical highlights from previous InfieldFest concerts and feature a performance by the Naval
Academy Glee Club.

Stronach said organizers had to adapt this year’s event due to COVID-19, but they still wanted to give fans a way to celebrate the Preakness.

“The coronavirus pandemic changed the Preakness celebrations this year, but it gave us the opportunity to enhance an already incredible event and to imagine what new traditions could be incorporated into the Preakness of the future,” she said in a statement. “We look forward to being back at Pimlico when it is safe to do so.”

Marcus Dieterle

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