Here’s what you need to know before the 2021 Preakness Stakes kicks off
NBC — The Preakness Stakes is reclaiming its traditional second spot in the Triple Crown for its 146th running after an October edition in 2020.
The 2021 Preakness Stakes will air on Saturday, May 15 from 2-5 p.m. on NBCSN and from 5-7:30 p.m. on NBC, NBC Sports reports.
Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit opens as the 9-5 morning-line favorite after Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert agreed to “rigorous” conditions set by The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club.
On Sunday, May 9, Baffert announced that Medina Spirit had 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone in a postrace drug test. Since last fall, using any steroids within 14 days before a race is prohibited in Kentucky. Baffert initially said the horse had never been treated with the drug, 14 days prior or otherwise.
The Baffert camp requested a second test called a split sample. Churchill Downs slapped him with an immediate suspension from running any horses at the track, adding that, “if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”
On Tuesday morning, Baffert said Medina Spirit had been treated for dermatitis on his hind end with a topical ointment called Otomax, which contains betamethasone. The conditions Baffert agreed to include “rigorous testing and monitoring” and a “commitment from Bob Baffert to full transparency of medical and testing results that will allow for all results to be released to the public.”
A limited crowd of up to 10,000 is expected to attend the Preakness while following social distancing guidelines, according to NBC Sports.
What is the Preakness Stakes?
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the American Triple Crown of horse racing. Like the Kentucky Derby, it’s a Grade I Thoroughbred stakes races. The Preakness is 9.5 furlongs, or 1 3/16th miles long.
The Preakness is run on the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The race was first run in 1873 at Pimlico, but then moved to Morris Park Racecourse (now closed) in the Bronx, wasn’t run for three years, and then jumped to Gravesend Race Track (also closed) at Coney Island before returning to Baltimore in 1909, where it’s stayed ever since.
It is traditionally run in mid May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. However, the 2020 race was moved from Saturday, May 16 to Saturday, October 3.
When is the 2021 Preakness Stakes?
The 146th Preakness Stakes is on Saturday, May 15. Coverage begins on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app at 2 p.m. ET and will move from NBCSN to NBC at 5 p.m. ET.
Post time for the 2021 Preakness Stakes is set for approximately 6:50 p.m. ET.
Where is the 2021 Preakness Stakes?
The Preakness Stakes is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD, NBC Sports confirmed.
How can I watch the 2021 Preakness Stakes?
NBC Sports is home to the 146th Preakness Stakes, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after the main event. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and moves over to NBC at 5 p.m. ET.
What’s the difference between the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby may be slightly older and more well-known, but the Preakness is distinct for several reasons. The field is often smaller (10 in this year’s Preakness as opposed to a field of 20 in the Derby), and the distance is half a furlong shorter. But for any horse who just ran in the Derby, the two-week turnaround time is the ultimate challenge.
In a non-COVID year, the Preakness is also home to a raucous infield and the annual ‘InfieldFest‘ mini music festival right in the middle of all the action.
This year, Pimlico will debut Preakness LIVE, a “safe, socially distant and more intimate live audience experience.” The front rows of the event will be reserved for first responders and frontline workers. DJ D-Nice, Grammy winner 2 Chainz and rising rapper Jack Harlow will perform.
Who won the 2020 Preakness Stakes?
Last year, Kenny McPeek’s Swiss Skydiver became the sixth filly in history to win the Preakness Stakes when she outlasted 2020 Kentucky Derby champ and eventual Horse of the Year Authentic in a furious chase to the wire.
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