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The 145th running of the Preakness Stakes (Grade I), is for the first time, the third jewel of the Triple Crown, set for Saturday, October 3, 2020 at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
BALTIMORE and LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 24, 2020) - Officials of the Breeders' Cup and The Stronach Group announced that the winner of the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds on October 3rd at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore will earn an automatic starting position into the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
The announcement marks the first time that a Triple Crown race will be a part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into corresponding races of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held this year on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. The $7 million Breeders' Cup Classic, contested at 1 1/4 miles, will be run on Saturday, November 7.
"We are delighted to join The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club in welcoming the Preakness to this year's Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, and that we will be able to provide the winning connections with an added incentive to run in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic," said Drew Fleming, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. "As a foundation race of the Triple Crown, and the premier event in the proud history of Maryland racing, we look forward to working together with The Stronach Group, and our partners at NBC Sports, to promote an exciting fall season for Thoroughbred racing."
"The events of 2020 have for all of us been about responding to unforeseen challenges and making the best of them," said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing Operations, 1/ST. "Many of those challenges including the changes to the Triple Crown have been unwelcome but becoming part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series is most welcome and a fitting finale to the three-year-old season as the horses and their connections make their way to Baltimore for the last leg of the Triple Crown. We look forward to hosting the best of America's three-year-old horses on October 3 at the Preakness and to enjoying their success thereafter in the Breeders' Cup Classic."
"With terrific racing ahead, we're excited that the two biggest events of the fall months will be further connected with the Preakness Stakes winner earning a coveted berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic," said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC and NBCSN.
Due to scheduling changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Preakness date was shifted from May 16 to October 3, and will be run as the third jewel of the 2020 Triple Crown.
This year's Triple Crown began on June 20 with the Belmont Stakes (G1), won by Tiz the Law, at Belmont Park, and will be followed by the Kentucky Derby (G1), which will be run on Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Four Preakness winners have won the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. In 2015, American Pharoah swept the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland to become racing's first "Grand Slam" winner. Preakness winners Sunday Silence (1989), Alysheba (1987) and Curlin (2007) also won the Classic. Alysheba captured the Classic in 1988.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the $150,000 in entry fees for the Preakness winner to start in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, which is limited to 14 starters. Breeders' Cup also will provide a travel allowance of $10,000 for all North American starters based outside of Kentucky to compete in the World Championships. The Preakness winner must already be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program or it must be nominated by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of Oct. 26 to receive the rewards.
There are six horses who have thus far earned automatic starting positions into this year's Longines Breeders' Cup Classic through the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Mozu Ascot, winner of the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse on Feb. 23; Tom's d'Etat, who took the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 27; Authentic, winner of the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 18; Improbable, who won the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 1; Ghaiyyath (IRE), winner of the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York on Aug. 19 in Great Britain and Maximum Security, who won the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Aug. 22.
Use the links below to learn more about the third leg of the `Triple Crown of Horse Racing'
Maryland's most prestigious race for 3-year-old fillies, the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), will contest its 96th renewal this year as part of the Preakness Day program Saturday, Oct. 3 at Pimlico Race Course.
First run in 1919 as the Pimlico Oaks, the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan was originally scheduled for May 15 on the eve of the Preakness Stakes (G1), which had its 145th edition rescheduled from May 16 to anchor a revamped Triple Crown series amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Nine horses to win the Black-Eyed Susan have gone on to be named champion 3-year-old filly including Hall of Famers Twilight Tear, Davona Dale, Serena's Song, Silverbulletday and Royal Delta. Among other prominent winners are Hall of Famer Gallorette; Nellie Morse, the only filly to also win the Preakness, in 1924; High Voltage, Caesar's Wish and Wide Country.
The legendary $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3), inaugurated in 1937 and the host to one of America's most historic moments in 1938 when Seabiscuit upset War Admiral, will be run Friday, Oct. 2.
The $100,000 Weber City Miss, to be contested at 1 1/16 miles Monday, Sept. 7 at Laurel Park, will once again serve as a `Win and In' race for the Black-Eyed Susan, offering automatic entry for the winner.
In all, Laurel is hosting nine $100,000 stakes on Preakness Prep Weekend as part of its extended summer meet. The Polynesian and Deputed Testamony for 3-year-olds and up and the Alma North and Twixt for fillies and mares 3 and older will be run Saturday, Sept. 5, also the date of the rescheduled Kentucky Derby (G1).
The Weber City Miss and Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds will be part of a special Labor Day program Monday, Sept. 7, with the Tesio serving as a `Win and In' event for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the Preakness. Three turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up are also scheduled - the All Along for fillies and mares and the Laurel Dash and Henry S. Clark.
Nominations for all nine stakes close Wednesday, Aug. 26.
|Jim McKay Turf Sprint||$100,000||5 Furlongs/Turf||3&UP|
|Allaire Dupont Distaff||$150,000||1 1/8 Miles/Dirt||F&M 3&UP|
|Miss Preakness - GIII||$150,000||6 Furlongs/Dirt||F3YO|
|Black-Eyed Susan||$250,000||1 1/8 Miles/Dirt||F3YO|
|Pimlico Special||$300,000||1 3/16 Miles/Dirt||3&UP|
|Preakness Stakes||$1,500,000||1 3/16 Miles/Dirt||3YO|
|LARC Sir Barton Stakes||$100,000||1 1/16 Miles/Dirt||3YO|
|Searching Stakes||$100,000||12 Furlongs/Turf||F&M 3&UP|
|Maryland Sprint Stakes||$150,000||6 Furlongs/Dirt||3&UP|
|James W. Murphy Stakes||$100,000||1 Mile/Turf||3YO|
|Dixie Stakes||$250,000||1 1/16 Miles/Turf||3&UP|
|Gallorette Stakes||$150,000||1 1/16 Miles/Turf||F&M 3&UP|
|Chick Lang Stakes||$200,000||6 Furlongs/Dirt||3YO|
|The Very One Stakes||$100,000||5 Furlongs/Turf||F&M 3&UP|
Traditionally the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, is held on the third Saturday each May at Baltimore, Maryland's Pimlico Race Course. Sandwiched between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in the Triple Crown, the Preakness is contested at a distance of 1 3/16 miles, and regularly attracts a field of the best three-year-old Thoroughbred racehorses in North America. A staple on Pimlico's stakes schedule since 1873, the Preakness is often a handicapping challenge for bettors as all of North America's best jockeys and trainers are in action at Pimlico that day. Other key stakes races held Preakness weekend at Pimlico include the Pimlico Special, the Dixie Stakes, the Gallorette Handicap and the Maryland Sprint Handicap.
Predating the Kentucky Derby by two years, the Preakness Stakes was first run in 1873. It got its name from then Maryland Governor Oden Bowie, who dubbed it `The Preakness' in honor of a horse of the same name that won the Dinner Party Stakes on the opening day of the Pimlico track in 1870. The race was originally a mile and a half in length, and the inaugural event saw 7 horses go to the starting gate. The first Preakness was won by My Sheba, who trounced the rest of the field by 10 lengths. That would remain the largest margin of victory in the race until 2004 when Smarty Jones won the event by 11 lengths. To date, Smarty Jones' triumph is the biggest margin of victory in Preakness history.
The Preakness race wasn't an immediate success and moved several times during its early years. In 1890, the Morris Race Course in the Bronx, New York held the race after which there was no race run for the next three years. In 1894, the Preakness was revived at the Gravesend Race Track on Coney Island and remained there for the next 15 years. In 1909 it returned to the Pimlico track in Baltimore where it has been run ever since. In 2009, the parent company of the Pimlico track, Magna Entertainment, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and moving the Preakness was once again considered. The Maryland Legislature quickly approved a plan to buy the track if Magna was unable to find a buyer so for now it looks like the Preakness will remain in Baltimore for the foreseeable future.
Just like the Kentucky Derby is preceded by the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, and the Preakness has a similar tradition with Black-Eyed Susan day. The Black-Eyed Susan was first run in 1919 as the Pimlico Oaks; but the name was changed in 1952 to pay homage to the Maryland state flower. The mile and one-eighth race for three-year-old fillies has been a Grade II event since 1976. Gates for the Black-Eyed Susan day open at 10 AM on Friday, May 17th with a full day of racing action.
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