How to watch Preakness Stakes 2021: Live stream online, TV channel coverage, start time, full race schedule today

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The Preakness Stakes reclaims its traditional second spot in the Triple Crown this year for its 146th running after an October edition in 2020.

The 2021 Preakness Stakes will air on Saturday, May 15 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live here on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

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.”

Related: What to know about the 2021 Preakness Stakes

A limited crowd of up to 10,000 is expected to attend the Preakness while following social distancing guidelines.

NBC Sports will also air the Black-Eyed Susan the day before on Friday, May 14 from 5 to 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

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.

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.

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.

NBC Sports’ additional Triple Crown coverage: 

  • Saturday, June 5: 153rd Belmont Stakes

Watch the Preakness on Saturday, May 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 5 to 7:15 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app. 

Appeals court strikes down federal horseracing rules act

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NEW ORLEANS — Congress unconstitutionally gave too much power to a nonprofit authority it created in 2020 to develop and enforce horseracing rules, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled Friday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, or HISA, is “facially unconstitutional.”

The authority created by the act was meant to bring uniform policies and enforcement to horseracing amid doping scandals and racetrack horse deaths. But the 5th Circuit – in two rulings issued Friday – ruled in favor of opponents of the act in lawsuits brought by horseracing associations and state officials in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.

The Federal Trade Commission has the ultimate authority to approve or reject HISA regulations, but it can’t modify them. And the authority can reject proposed modifications.

Three 5th Circuit judges agreed with opponents of the act – including the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and similar groups in multiple states – that the setup gave too much power to the nongovernmental authority and too little to the FTC.

“A cardinal constitutional principle is that federal power can be wielded only by the federal government. Private entities may do so only if they are subordinate to an agency,” Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote for the panel that ruled in the Texas case.

The same panel, which also included judges Carolyn Dineen King and Kurt Engelhardt, cited the Texas ruling in a separate order in favor of horseracing interests and regulators challenging HISA in a different case.

The chair of the horseracing authority’s board of directors said it would ask for further court review. Friday’s ruling could be appealed to the full 5th Circuit court of the Supreme Court.

“If today’s ruling were to stand, it would not go into effect until January 10, 2023 at the earliest,” Charles Scheeler said in an email. “We are focused on continuing our critical work to protect the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the launch of HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program on January 1, 2023.”

The ruling was criticized by Marty Irby, executive director of the Animal Wellness Action organization. “Over the course of three Congresses, the most brilliant legal minds on Capitol Hill addressed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s constitutionality and ultimately decided that the Federal Trade Commission’s limited oversight was sufficient,” Irby said in an email.

Among the subjects covered by the authority’s rules and enforcement were jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol), the riding crop and how often riders can use it during a race, racetrack accreditation, and the reporting of training and veterinary records.

Animal rights groups, who supported the law, pointed to scandals in the industry involving medication and the treatment of horses.

Duncan wrote that in declaring HISA unconstitutional, “we do not question Congress’s judgment about problems in the horseracing industry. That political call falls outside our lane.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, hailed the ruling on Twitter, calling HISA a “federal takeover of Louisiana horse racing.”

Fractional interest in Flightline sells for $4.6 million

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland says a 2.5% fractional interest in Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Flightline has sold for $4.6 million during a special auction before the start of its November Breeding Stock Sale.

Brookdale Farm’s Freddy Seitz signed the ticket for an undisclosed client, the track announced in a release. The sale comes a day after ownership of the 4-year-old son of Tapit retired the unbeaten colt following his record 8\-length victory in Saturday’s $6 million, Grade 1 Classic at Keeneland. Flightline likely locked up Horse of the Year honors with his fourth Grade 1 victory in six starts by a combined victory margin of 71 lengths – dominance that has drawn comparisons to legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat.

Flightline will begin his breeding career next year at Lane’s End Farms in Versailles, Kentucky, but a stud fee has yet to be determined. West Point Thoroughbreds, part of the bay colt’s ownership, offered the fractional interest. Seitz said the buyer wanted to “make a big splash” and get more involved in the business.

“With a special horse like (Flightline) all you can do is get involved and then just hope for the best,” Seitz said in the release.

“There has never been a horse that has done what he has done for however many years, back to Secretariat. You just have to pay up and get involved, and this is kind of what he’s thinking.”