Maryland Gov. In Talks To Postpone Preakness Until September
After Kentucky Derby announcement today, we are in active discussions to POSTPONE the Preakness Stakes until September.— Mike Ricci (@riccimike) March 17, 2020
A spokesperson for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan posted on Twitter that the state is in "active discussions to POSTPONE the Preakness Stakes until September," according to Childs Walker of the BALTIMORE SUN. The post came just a few hours after Kentucky Derby officials confirmed their delay to Sept. 5. Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said that organizers of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are "currently negotiating with NBC to move their races to September and early October, respectively." Derby officials "gave organizers of the Preakness and Belmont a 'heads up' as they finalized plans for the Sept. 5 move." Carstanjen said his counterparts were "receptive," but "they have their own questions" (BALTIMORE SUN, 3/18). In DC, Adam Zielonka notes the Preakness, originally scheduled for May 16, "would follow the Kentucky Derby in being pushed back." Hogan on Sunday "ordered all racetracks and casinos in the state to close indefinitely" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/18).
PREPARING TO MOVE: The NYRA yesterday said that it "still intends to run the Belmont Stakes this year but that the date could change." On Long Island, Jim Baumbach notes the race, scheduled for June 6, is the third leg of the Triple Crown and "draws crowds as large as 100,000." The last time the Belmont Stakes was not run was 1912, when the race "took a two-year break due to anti-gambling legislation in New York." Meanwhile, Aqueduct Racetrack will "continue to race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through March 29" (NEWSDAY, 3/18).