Preakness 2019 Race Draws Lowest Rating Ever After Kentucky Derby Controversy

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2019

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - MAY 18: Bodexpress #9 (L) breaks from the starting gate after dumping jockey John Velazquez at the the start during the 144th Running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 2019 Preakness Stakes received the race's lowest ever rating Saturday as War of Will triumphed at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Everfast.

Action Network's Darren Rovell relayed the rating Monday:

The rating follows a controversial Kentucky Derby in which initial winner Maximum Security was disqualified for interference.

Only one of the six horses that finished ahead of War of Will at the Kentucky Derby—not including Maximum Security—was present in the field Saturday, fourth-placed Improbable, which perhaps explains the lack of interest in the race.

While Improbable finished sixth at Preakness, War of Will—who was among those impeded by Maximum Security at Churchill Downs capitalised on those absences to win in Baltimore:

Per Sports Media Watch, since NBC began airing the race in 2001, the previous lowest rating came in 2017, when 7.5 million people tuned in to watch Cloud Computing's victory at a rating of 4.6, the first time the rating had dipped below 5.2.

Last year, 7.9 million (4.8) saw Justify secure the second victory in what would become a successful Triple Crown bid. 

Prior to this year's race, the average rating was 5.9. Viewership of the race peaked in 2004 at 11.6 million (7.7).

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