05/18/2016 12:00PM

Pimlico: Preakness staying right where it is


Last year at this time, officials of Pimlico Race Course were openly discussing the possibility of moving the Preakness Stakes from its traditional Saturday date two weeks after the Kentucky Derby to the next day, a Sunday, generating intense debate over what the move would mean to the Triple Crown.

Those discussions are no longer taking place, said Tim Ritvo, the chief operating officer of The Stronach Group, the parent company of Pimlico and its sister track in Maryland, Laurel Park.

“We’re always receptive to new ideas, but I can say that is no longer a priority,” Ritvo said.

The biggest reason: American Pharoah. When the colt won the Triple Crown last year, he broke a 37-year drought and proved that the right horse could prevail in the three races under the modern schedule, with two weeks between the Derby and Preakness, three weeks between the Preakness and the Belmont, and all of the races held on Saturdays.

“After we saw a Triple Crown winner last year, it’s hard to say it can’t be done,” Ritvo said. “So, there’s a lot more pressure to keep it the way it is.”

:: PREAKNESS: Buy pps, watch Saturday's card live

Last year, Pimlico officials said the move might make financial sense for the track, which is trying to build up the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes card, held the day prior to the Preakness. Pimlico does not race the day after the Preakness.

Mark More than 1 year ago
Preakness will be at Laurel Park by 2018.
Stet Dotnet More than 1 year ago
Considering how both Maryland Racing and Pimlico are both becoming irrelevant, I thought the title meant they were considering moving the Preakness to another TRACK.  Don't be too surprised when one day we have the "Race for the Double Crown."

Jeff Richardson More than 1 year ago
Enjoy this Preakness preview   https://youtu.be/g-_eD6OTy_U
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Bravo ritvo.  Lets not look at both sides of the story.  There is a really bad side to the story, also.  Horse racing will make more money by spreading out the triple crown schedule.  More derby will run in the preakness if it is four weeks apart.  Our grade 1 talented stars will have less injuries and will run more often in the future.  The preakness undercard will have much better quality horses.  Remember danzig moon.