What to know about the 2023 Preakness Stakes: Key Storylines, How to Watch and more from Pimlico

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Kentucky Derby winner Mage returns in the 2023 Preakness Stakes along with a small but formidable field.

The 2023 Preakness Stakes airs on Saturday, May 20 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. ET on CNBC and from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock

Mage’s trainer Gustavo Delgado looks for his first Preakness win and his colt opens as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the 148th edition of the race. Mage is the only horse that ran at the Kentucky Derby that will be in the field on Saturday, the first time that has happened since 1948.

Two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert returns to Pimlico, with his first Triple Crown starter in his own name since 2021 edition of the Preakness. This year, Baffert brings National Treasure (4-1) to the Pimlico. The three-year-old colt hasn’t won since his maiden race and finished fourth at the Santa Anita Derby his last time out.

Brad Cox colt First Mission was due to be in the field and had the second-best odds to win, but was scratched on Friday.

Related: How to watch the 2023 Preakness Stakes

NBC Sports will also air the Black-Eyed Susan the day before on Friday, May 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET on CNBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

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.

When is the 2023 Preakness Stakes?

The 148th Preakness Stakes is on Saturday, May 20. Coverage begins on CNBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock at 1 p.m. ET and will move to NBC at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Post time for the 2023 Preakness Stakes is set for approximately 7:01 p.m. ET.

Where is the 2023 Preakness Stakes? 

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

How can I watch the 2023 Preakness Stakes?

NBC Sports is home to the 148th 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. TV coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on CNBC and moves over to NBC at 4:30 p.m. ET.

What happened at the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

Mage set off as a 12-1 underdog started the race in the middle of the field and roared down the final stretch to win the 149th Kentucky Derby. The Derby field featured 18 horses after multiple horses, including the favorite Forte, were either scratched, and Churchill Downs saw seven horse deaths in the leadup to and day of the Derby. Two Phil’s finished second in the Kentucky Derby while Angel of Empire placed third.

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 with Preakness Live 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 Saturday, May 20. This year’s lineup includes Bruno Mars and Sofi Tukker.

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 Cricket Goodall, the executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

Who won the 2022 Preakness Stakes?

On May 21, Chad Brown’s colt Early Voting stayed close to the pacesetter and finished with a burst down the final stretch to win 2022 Preakness Stakes. Early Voting went on to retire at the end of 2022.

Steve Asmussen-trained Epicenter was second to the wire after finishing runner-up at the Kentucky Derby two weeks before.

Watch the Preakness on Saturday, May 20 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. ET on CNBC and from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock

Forte works out, waits for Belmont Stakes clearance

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NEW YORK — Forte, the early Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on the day of the race, worked out in preparation for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., Forte worked five-eighths of a mile for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. It was the colt’s second workout since being scratched from the Derby on May 6.

“It seems like he’s maintained his fitness level,” Pletcher said. “It seems like everything is in good order.”

Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list after being scratched from the Derby because of a bruised right front foot. In order to be removed from the list, the colt had to work in front of a state veterinarian and give a blood sample afterward, the results of which take five days.

“There’s protocols in place and we had to adhere to those and we’re happy that everything went smoothly,” Pletcher said. “We felt confident the horse was in good order or we wouldn’t have been out there twice in the last six days, but you still want to make sure everything went smoothly and we’re happy everything did go well.”

Pletcher said Kingsbarns, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the Belmont. The colt is showing signs of colic, although he is fine, the trainer said.

Another Pletcher-trained horse, Prove Worthy, is under consideration for the Belmont. He also has Tapit Trice, who finished seventh in the Derby, being pointed toward the Belmont.

Judge grants Churchill Downs’ request for summary judgment to dismiss Bob Baffert’s lawsuit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge has granted Churchill Downs’ motion for summary judgment that dismisses Bob Baffert’s claim the track breached due process by suspending the Hall of Fame trainer for two years.

Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert in June 2021 after his now-deceased colt, Medina Spirit, failed a postrace drug test after crossing the finish line first in the 147th Kentucky Derby. The trainer’s request to lift the discipline was denied in February, keeping him out of the Derby for a second consecutive May.

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings ruled in a 12-page opinion issued Wednesday that Churchill Downs’ suspension of Baffert did not devalue his Kentucky trainer’s license. It cited his purse winnings exceeding $1 million at Keeneland in Lexington and stated that his argument “amounts to a false analogy that distorts caselaw.”

Jennings denied CDI’s motion to stay discovery as moot.

The decision comes less than a week after Baffert-trained colt National Treasure won the Preakness in his first Triple Crown race in two years. His record eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown came hours after another of his horses, Havnameltdown, was euthanized following an injury at Pimlico.

Churchill Downs said in a statement that it was pleased with the court’s favorable ruling as in Baffert’s other cases.

It added, “While he may choose to file baseless appeals, this completes the seemingly endless, arduous and unnecessary litigation proceedings instigated by Mr. Baffert.”

Baffert’s suspension is scheduled to end on June 2, but the track’s release noted its right to extend it “and will communicate our decision” at its conclusion.