What to know about the 2022 Preakness Stakes

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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

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.

Kentucky Derby modifies qualifying, elevates prep races

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Churchill Downs has modified paths to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, awarding points to the top five finishers in qualifying races and increasing significance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and late prep season events.

Most Derby prep races during the qualifying series for 3-year-olds will award points on a 10-4-3-2-1 sliding scale after using a 10-4-2-1 system since 2013. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, run during the season-ending championships on Nov. 4 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, will increase points from 20-8-4-2 to 30-12-9-6-3 to differentiate the Grade I event from others during prep season.

Select prep races for the 20-horse Derby field have elevated points from a 10-4-2-1 scale to 20-8-6-4-2 to increase their importance and motivate hopefuls to begin their 3-year-old campaigns earlier in the season, track officials stated in a release.

“We believe these modifications adhere to and amplify our goal of assembling the finest group of 3-year-olds in the starting gate for a race at the classic distance of 1\ miles on the first Saturday in May,” Churchill Downs vice president/general manager Mike Ziegler said.

The 149th Kentucky Derby and Oaks for fillies will be held on May 5-6, 2023. Derby qualifying season begins with Saturday’s $300,000, Grade III Iroquois for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

The point changes apply to Oaks qualifiers.

Elevated Derby preps include the Lecomte at Fair Grounds in Louisiana; Southwest at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Withers at Aqueduct in New York; Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park in Florida; Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in California; Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs; and John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in Kentucky.