Preakness Prognostications: The Summer Classics?

April 12, 2020

What if the Triple Crown schedule was completely scrambled? What if the Preakness went first and the Kentucky Derby ran last? Now, hear me out. 

Give the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes Derby qualifying points. Just for this year. 200 for the win, 100 second, 50 third, 25 fourth. This will grow interest in the “stepsister” classics, increase early wagering, build drama going into the Derby leading up to the Breeders’ Cup. 

Fasig-Tipton announced the rescheduling of its 2020 Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. In the past the popular event had been held following the Preakness week festivities in May.

The sale will now be held on Monday and Tuesday, June 29 and 30, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland. The sale’s under tack show will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 24-26. 

What if the Preakness was held on a Sunday? July 2. Black-Eyed Susan day could be moved to Saturday to allow for more fans to attend and a higher TV audience. Traditionally, the Championships at Wimbledon would be taking place this weekend. Cancelled because of the Coronavirus, the Preakness may pick up new fans from the tennis audience.

The 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes could take place five weeks later, Saturday, August 8. This should allow for a television deal between NYRA and NBC as the sports schedule will not be as crowded. With the Kentucky Derby scheduled for Saturday, September 5, this will give contenders five weeks of rest and training. 

The Derby would be the crescendo to a long-awaited summer of racing. 20 of the 

best 3-year-old Thoroughbreds in America. Give points in the Derby, too, and give a 3-year-old Summer Classic Champion Award to the highest points earner. 

I’m no stable genius nor am I a top ‘capper but I think this is an idea you can bet on! Tell us what you think!

Photo: Pimlico Race Course. Credit: Eclipse Sportswire 

Contributing Authors

Maribeth Kalinich, Senior Editor, Graphic Designer

Maribeth Kalinich grew up in a family with a love for horses, a passion for Thoroughbred horse racing and a taste for playing the ponies....

View Maribeth Kalinich, Senior Editor, Graphic Designer

Another great piece by Jonathan!

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