What to know about the 2022 Preakness Stakes

1 Comment

Even without 80-1 Kentucky Derby upset champ Rich Strike, the 2022 Preakness Stakes has a small but mighty field.

The 2022 Preakness Stakes airs on Saturday, May 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. ET on CNBC and from 4 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock

Kentucky Derby runner-up Epicenter opens as the 6-5 morning-line favorite for the 147th edition of the race.

The Steve Asmussen-trained colt will break from the No. 8 spot at Pimlico just two weeks after his second-place Derby trip with Joel Rosario in the irons. Asmussen has won the Preakness twice before: in 2007 with Curlin and in 2009 with Rachel Alexandra

His connections say he’s come off of his impressive run in the Derby well, so it’s no surprise he’s a heavy favorite.

Two other Derby contenders will also race in the Preakness: Simplification (6-1), who finished fourth, and Happy Jack (30-1), who took 14th out of 20 horses.

Kentucky Oaks 148 winner Secret Oath opens with 9-2 odds and will set off from the No. 4 spot in the gate.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic champ Arrogate is no stranger to racing in a field full of colts after placing third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and initially being pointed to the Kentucky Derby instead of the Oaks. She could become just the seventh filly to win the Preakness in its 147-year history. Swiss Skydiver was the last to do it back in 2020.

Her Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, has six Preakness Stakes wins to his name, most recently with Oxbow in 2013.

Two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert will be noticeably absent from Pimlico. After 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned substance (and was later stripped of the title), Baffert received a two-year suspension from Churchill Downs, as well as a 90-day suspension from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) that will be honored in all 38 racing states. That includes Maryland, home of the Preakness, and New York, home of the Belmont

Related: How to watch the 2022 Preakness Stakes

NBC Sports will also air the Black-Eyed Susan the day before on Friday, May 20 from 5 to 6 p.m. ET on USA Network, 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 takes place 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. It wasn’t run for three years, and then it jumped to Gravesend Race Track (also closed) at Coney Island before returning to Baltimore in 1909, where it’s stayed ever since.

The race 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 2022 Preakness Stakes?

The 147th Preakness Stakes is on Saturday, May 21. Coverage begins on CNBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock at 2 p.m. ET and will move to NBC at 4 p.m. ET.

Post time for the 2022 Preakness Stakes is set for approximately 7:01 p.m. ET.

Where is the 2022 Preakness Stakes? 

The Preakness Stakes is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD.

How can I watch the 2022 Preakness Stakes?

NBC Sports is home to the 147th Preakness Stakes, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on NBC, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after the main event. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on CNBC and moves over to NBC at 4 p.m. ET.

What happened at the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

Rich Strike, a massive 80-1 underdog, started the race near the back of the field and shocked everyone by winning the 148th Kentucky Derby. Rich Strike entered the field as an alternate after Ethereal Road scratched the day before the Derby. Epicenter finished second in the Kentucky Derby while Zandon placed third. Rounding out the top ten were Simplification, Mo Donegal, Barber Road, Tawny Port, Smile Happy, Tiz the Bomb and Zozos.

What’s the difference between the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby may be slightly older and more well-known, but the Preakness is distinct for several reasons. The field is often smaller (last year’s Preakness saw 10 entries as opposed to the usual Derby field of 20), and the distance is half a furlong shorter. But for any horse who just ran in the Derby, the two week turnaround time is the ultimate challenge.

Raucous infield festivities return after two years with InfieldFest back in full form. Tunes, food and art meet horse racing at this annual music festival that takes place right in the middle of all the Preakness action Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21. This year’s lineup includes Megan Thee Stallion, Lauryn Hill, Marshmello and The Chainsmokers.

In another fun tradition unique to the Preakness, the United States Postal Service’s temporary Pimlico office is also back after two years away because of COVID, and this year’s honorary postmaster will be the Maryland-bred, 2021 Eclipse Award Horse of the Year Knicks Go.

Who won the 2021 Preakness Stakes?

Underdog Rombauer powered to Preakness Stakes victory in trainer Michael McCarthy’s Triple Crown debut and jockey Flavien Pratt’s debut in the race. The bay colt, who had raced only three times on the dirt before the Preakness and lost every start, sped past a homestretch duel between Midnight Bourbon and disqualified 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.

Rombauer went on to finish third in the Belmont Stakes, but a winter comeback attempt was halted by a training injury at Santa Anita, and he was retired.

NBC Sports’ additional Triple Crown coverage: 

  • Saturday, June 11: 154th Belmont Stakes

Watch the Preakness on Saturday, May 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. ET on CNBC and from 4 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock

Newgate wins Robert B. Lewis Stakes; Baffert runs 1-2-3-4

0 Comments

ARCADIA, Calif. — Newgate won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by a neck, with Bob Baffert as the trainer of all four horses in the Kentucky Derby prep race at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Newgate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.11 and paid $4 and $2.60 as the even-money favorite. There was no show wagering because of the field size.

Hard to Figure returned $5.20 at 12-1 odds. Worcester was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Arabian Lion was fourth.

“So much improvement in all these horses,” Baffert said. “I was actually nervous before the race, worried that something weird might happen, but I can relax now.”

The Lewis was a Kentucky Derby prep race, but no points were awarded because Baffert has been banned for two years by Churchill Downs Inc. The Hall of Fame trainer was in Louisville to testify in federal court as he seeks a temporary injunction to end the suspension, which runs through the end of the upcoming spring meet. It was meted out following a failed drug test by Medina Spirit after the colt finished first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Newgate earned his first graded stakes victory. The colt was second, beaten by a neck in the Sham Stakes last month in his previous start.

“Frankie Dettori has been teaching him how to just sit back, relax and come with a punch and that’s what he did today,” Baffert said.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Newgate’s career earnings to $241,975, with two wins in six starts.

Baffert: 2-year Churchill Downs suspension hurt reputation

bob baffert
Sam Upshaw Jr./USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Churchill Downs never gave advance notice nor reached out to explain its two-year suspension, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said in federal court, and reiterated that the penalty has caused irreparable harm to his business and reputation.

Baffert has sued the historic track and is seeking a temporary injunction to stop his suspension following a failed drug test by the now-deceased Medina Spirit after the colt came in first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The suspension for a series of failed tests by his horses runs through the end of the upcoming spring meet and could exclude Baffert from the Derby for a second consecutive spring.

Almost a year ago, Kentucky racing officials disqualified Medina Spirit and suspended Baffert for 90 days for those failed tests. Churchill Downs elevated Derby runner-up Mandaloun to winner.

“They’ve hurt my reputation,” Baffert said during nearly two hours of testimony in U.S. District Court. “My horses should’ve made much more money. I didn’t run for 90 days, and I had to let people go.”

Churchill Downs wants the case dismissed, citing nine failed tests by Baffert-trained horses as justification for disciplining horse racing’s most visible figure. The list of violators includes 2020 Kentucky Oaks third-place finisher Gamine, who was ultimately disqualified.

Medina Spirit failed his test for having in his system the corticosteroid betamethasone, which Baffert and attorney Clark Brewster have argued came from an ointment rather than an injection.

Track president Mike Anderson said the decision by Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen stemmed from Baffert’s “refusal to take responsibility for repeat violations” during a news conference at his backside barn after Medina Spirit’s failed test was revealed.

“We wanted to make a statement that this was a consequence of not doing the right thing,” Anderson said.

Attorneys Matt Benjamin and Christine Demana, who are representing Churchill Downs, also disputed Baffert’s contention that business has suffered by noting his latest crop of promising 3-year-old colts on this year’s Derby trail.

One of them, Arabian Knight, won last week’s Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn by 5+ lengths to give Baffert his record sixth win in the race. The horse is ineligible to earn Kentucky Derby qualifying points as the winner because of Baffert’s suspension.

A slide presented also showed that Baffert horses made 477 starts from May 10, 2021, through December 2022 and won marquee races such as the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Corniche, the Eclipse winner) along with Grade 1 wins in the Pennsylvania Derby and Malibu Stakes (Taiba).

Friday’s 3 1/2-hour hearing followed four hours of testimony on Thursday. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings gave no indication when she would rule. But Brewster said he expects a decision “within several days.”

Baffert testified that he had had a good relationship with Churchill Downs, though he noted that he was paying for his seats at the track and having to “grovel” to get them. He also insisted that he tried to be a good ambassador for horse racing, especially after American Pharoah and Justify won the Triple Crown in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

“I think today was great because I finally got to tell my story in a nonbiased atmosphere,” he said. “I hope for the best, and hopefully we’ll be here.”