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The Preakness Stakes Will Be Held in October As The Third Leg of the Triple Crown

WBAL TV 11 in Baltimore is just reporting that the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes will take place on October 3, 2020. This would make the Preakness the presumptive third leg in the Triple Crown, as the Kentucky Derby is set for Labor Day weekend and indications are that NYRA would like to run the Belmont sometime in June.

I don't love this at all. I understood moving the Kentucky Derby to Labor Day weekend, but I thought that should have been the third jewel in the Triple Crown. The possibility of crowning a Triple Crown winner at Churchill Downs for the first and only time was something kind of cool. Now, we get the possibility of Pimlico, which is less satisfying. Also, running this race four weeks later, in October, presents some logistical issues. If you want to be a serious contender, I assume you'd have to run the Belmont in June/July, probably head to Saratoga for a race to stay sharp in August and then to Churchill in September. Followed by the Preakness in October, and then there's the Breeders' Cup in November. Having the three races this far apart is difficult both from a training perspective and logistically. 

Having said all that, there is no playbook here. We're all flying blind. This situation has never happened before, and hopefully, it never will again. While I would have preferred a different order, I am happy that we are going to see all three races run this year. We have an incredibly talented crop of three year olds, led by Tiz The Law, Charlatan and Nadal and I can't wait to watch them compete in the years' biggest races, starting pretty soon.

Update: The Stronach Group now says no date has been set, so...