Maryland Jockey Club President Suggests Triple Crown Schedule Change
Updated: Monday, June 9 2014, 03:54 PM EDT
The timing of the Triple Crown race series, which currently takes place over a five-week period, has been brought up for debate.
Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas says he will work with officials at Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association toward a schedule that has the Kentucky Derby retain its position on the first Saturday in May, while the Preakness would be moved to the first weekend in June and the Belmont Stakes to the first weekend in July.
"The philosophy of the trainers has drastically changed over the years," Chuckas said. "It is hard for them to bring a horse back from the Derby in two weeks and run a horse three times in a five-week period. Most of them will not do it. But this idea is not just for the Triple Crown races. We have an obligation to the public to put our best racing on the table when the world is watching and we are not doing that."
Only three horses from the May 3 Kentucky Derby competed in Saturday's Preakness, the Maryland Jockey Club noted.
The Kentucky Derby has been run on the first Saturday in May since 1969, followed by the Preakness two weeks later and the Belmont Stakes on the first Saturday in June, though the races have been moved around; on 11 occasions the Preakness was run prior to the Derby and in 1917 and 1922 they were run on the same day.