The running of the Preakness this Saturday further proves 2020 is a year like no other in sports and horse racing has been no exception. Earlier this year the Triple Crown Series was drastically postponed with the concluding one million dollar Preakness Stakes running this Saturday at the Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland.
The usual third-leg Belmont Stakes in New York was held first this year with a shortened track on June 20th. The Kentucky Derby ran some eleven weeks later on September 5th. The Preakness is wrapping up the series a month later this coming Saturday, October 3rd.
This is a drastic change from the usual three races happening within 7 weeks of each other during the springtime, beginning the first Saturday in May with the Kentucky Derby. This proves to be a taxing toll on the young horses vying for the triple crown each year.
Experts and analysts argue that the odd configuration of the races in 2020 is actually beneficial for the industry. The horses that run in the races are typically only three years old and running in the summer and fall as opposed to the spring allows for the young horses to mature. Actually making it safer in conditions like these and possibly more competitive.
Horse trainer Whitney Ross helps explain why this is so, “It is better for them to race when they get older because they are still growing and developing so typically horses that race when they are younger break down more easier than an older horse that is fully grown. They break down much easier when they are young so this extra little time, even though its just a couple months, gives them a little more time to mature and hopefully they won’t have any breakdowns.”
The more space between the races also allows for greater recovery, stacking the races even more so and giving spectators a better race to watch. The Preakness will conclude the Triple Crown Series and will air on NBC at 4:30 EST Saturday October 3rd.