Welcome to Preakness Stakes Day 2017 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore! The Preakness will be run at approximately 6:45 p.m. ET, but before the best three-year-olds make a Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, you can expect a whole day of undercard action, both on dirt and on grass.
This year, Preakness Day features a purse total of a guaranteed $2.55 million. The first $1.5 million of that goes to the 1-3/16-mile Preakness itself, the 13th race on the schedule. But the undercard races are the $250,000 Longines Dixie (G2) and $150,000 Gallorette, the $200,000 Chick Lang, $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3), $100,000 LARC Sir Barton, $100,000 The Very One, and $100,000 James W. Murphy.
The Dixie is the most interesting race to keep an eye on. Traditionally run one race before the Preakness, it’s set to go to post at approximately 5:35 p.m. It’s a 1-1/8-mile race on turf that honors the birth of the Preakness itself. When Pimlico first opened, before the Preakness even got its name, the third race ever to be run was organized and called “The Dinner Party Stakes.” The first horse to win? Preakness. The race went on a hiatus long before most of us were alive, and it was revived in 1924. Today it’s run before the Preakness to honor the history of the event.
All eyes will turn to the second jewel of the Triple Crown after that one. Always Dreaming, winner of the Kentucky Derby, will be trying to add his name to the history books by becoming the 36th horse to win both the Derby and Preakness. Twelve went on to win the Belmont Stakes and earn the Triple Crown title. Always Dreaming was the 4/5 morning line favorite after Preakness post positions were drawn Wednesday.
Experts seem to give the slight edge to Classic Empire, who was the best two-year-old but has struggled to have a great race in 2017. The smaller field should showcase his ability, and a good run could give him a marquee victory. You can read more about the Preakness contenders here as well.
The day’s first race was set for 10:30 a.m., but none of the key events will be run before The Chick Lang at 2:09 p.m. You can follow the Preakness undercard on NBCSN beginning at 2:30 p.m. The coverage shifts to NBC at 5 p.m.
You can stream everything live via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app which is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.
Check back here all day for video and recaps of all of the day’s key races. Below is a schedule of the main ones.
The Chick Lang — 2:09 p.m.
The Chick Lang Stakes, a dirt track race over six furlongs with a $200,000 purse, found Recruiting Ready to be the speediest of the 3-year-old competitors with a first-place finish despite the muddy conditions.
Recruiting Ready, which came into the race with 5-2 odds from an 8-5 morning line, finished in 1:10:35. Finishing in second was Aquamarine with third place going to Three Rules.
Horacio Karamanos was the jockey on Recruiting Ready, and the win in the Chick Lang was his third win of the day at Pimlico during the Preakness undercard races.
The James Murphy — 2:49 p.m.
Yoshida made winning look easy in the 1-mile turf track race known as the James Murphy Stakes.
Yoshida started the race in dead last, having to race back from 17 lengths before making a huge surge in the final stretch to win with ease in 1:36.83.
The winning horse had 5-2 odds at race time after a 3-1 morning line.
Taking second in a photo finish was Chubby Star (18-1 odds) while Mo Maverick (3-1 odds) finished in third place.
The Maryland Sprint (G3) — 3:29 p.m.
Six furlongs on a muddy dirt track isn’t the ideal condition for any sprint horse, but the top three horses didn’t let it mean a slow finish by any means.
The favorite, Whitemore, took home the top spot after rallying in a tightly contested race with a 1:09.9 finish.
Finishing in second place was A.P. Indian, while Awesome Banner was third.
The morning line odds for the winner were 9-5 and 6-5 at race time. Awesome Banner definitely surprised some people with the third-place finish considering the 20-1 morning line odds and the 31-1 odds at the starting gate.
The Gallorette — 4:09 p.m.
Cambodia took home the top prize in the The Gallorette Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race over a turf track with a $150,000 purse.
The track was still listed in good condition despite the continued wet conditions at Pimlico, and Cambodia took advantage of those conditions and ran to first place in 1:44.35.
Heading to the starting gate, Cambodia had 9-2 odds, a significant change from the 8-1 morning line. Taking second was On Leave, with 5-2 odds, while Elysea’s World was third and carried even money 1-1 odds at race time.
The LARC Sir Barton — 4:49 p.m.
The $100,000 purse in The LARC Sir Barton 1 1/16-mile dirt track race drew plenty of speedy horses to compete. Out of the field of 3 year olds, it was No Mo Dough taking first place.
No Mo Dough finished in the slightly muddy conditions with a time of 1:44.13. The horse came into the day with 12-1 morning line odds and pressed into the starting gates with 9-1 odds.
Taking the second spot in the finish was Time to Travel, with 4-1 odds at race time, while True Timber took third place and carried 8-1 odds.
The favorite, Hedge Fund, came out of the starting gate with 1-1 odds, but finished fourth initially before being disqualified for interference on Society Beau.
The Longines Dixie (G2) — 5:35 p.m.
The five-year-old gelding World Approval busted through the millionaire mark by running away with the $250,000, Grade 2 Dixie Stakes, the traditional race before the Preakness. Mark Casse, trainer of Preakness hopeful Classic Empire, earned the win. He paid $7 on a $2 bet. Morning line favorite Projected finished second and Blacktype third.
The Preakness (G1) — 6:48 p.m.
Always Dreaming and Classic Empire had all the hype entering the race. But it was Cloud Computing, with just three races to his name, who came away the victory. He had just 13/1 odds. Classic Empire led by three lengths down the frontstretch before Cloud Computing caught him. Senior Investment finished third.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming finished eighth.