What time does the Preakness Stakes start? What TV channel is it on?

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is bathed after a workout May 12, 2021, ahead of the Preakness Stakes.
Medina Spirit is bathed after a workout Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. The horse tested positive for an anti-inflammatory after winning the Kentucky Derby and could be stripped of the victory.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

The second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown doesn’t have quite the fanfare as the Kentucky Derby. In fact, raise your hand if you’re going to a Preakness party. Thought so.

But this year, there is so much off-the-track drama that it just might generate more interest than normal. All of which begs the question: What time is the Preakness Stakes ?

We’ll start in Los Angeles, where it is in its usual mid-afternoon position of 3:47 p.m. Moving east, it means 4:47 p.m. if you are in the Mountain time zone, 5:47 p.m. in Chicago and 6:47 p.m. if you are munching on crab cakes in Baltimore.


And you can find coverage of the race on your local NBC station starting at 2 p.m. in Los Angeles. (You can make the time adjustments for where you live. ) If you are into some of the lead-up races, which are pretty good, you can find coverage on NBCSN starting at 11 a.m. Pacific time. It’s probably the last Preakness Day coverage for NBCSN, as the station is being discontinued soon.

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit passed a drug test and is cleared to run at the Preakness Stakes, where trainer Bob Baffert has become the story without being present.

May 15, 2021

There are some traditions that mirror the Kentucky Derby at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Instead of “My Old Kentucky Home,” there is the singing of “Maryland, My Maryland.”

The Derby has the blanket of roses, while the Preakness has a blanket of Black-eyed Susans, which happens to be the state flower of Maryland.

The race is actually shorter than the Kentucky Derby by 1/16th of a mile or, in horse racing parlance, half a furlong. That makes the race 1 3/16 miles.

The drama this year is centered on Derby winner Medina Spirit, who tested positive for betamethasone, which is a legal medication except on race day. It’s not considered a performance enhancer but nonetheless is prohibited on the day a horse runs.

If Medina Spirit wins the Preakness, with a possible disqualification in the Kentucky Derby months or years away, it sure will make things interesting when the final stop on the Triple Crown road takes everyone to New York for the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.