The Preakness Stakes is an American race for thoroughbred horses held on the third Saturday in May each year at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness Stakes were inaugurated in 1875. A few years before that, the people in Baltimore had thought about what kind of race they could have in the city that everyone could bet money on. They wanted something of their own that was special to their city. The Pimlico racetrack was opened in 1870 and is where every year the race is held.
Preakness Stakes is an approximately 1900 meter long race that only three-year-old thoroughbreds.
Preakness Stakes is the second race in the Triple Crown of American horse racing. The other two are the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. The Preakness Stakes is the shortest race of the three.
- The Preakness Stakes was named after the horse that won the Dinner Party Stakes on the track during its opening year, 1870.
- The Preakness started before the Kentucky Derby, but you rarely hear about it. The Preakness’ first race was in 1873, two years before the Kentucky Derby began. When the Preakness Stakes had a break during 1891-1893, the Kentucky Derby has been run once more.
- In 1889, The Preakness Stakes in Pimlico was discontinued and run instead in Morris Park in Westchester County, New York, in 1890.
- In 1894 the race returned but was held instead on the Gravesend track in Brooklyn, New York. Until 1908 when it finally returned for good to Maryland and has become a permanent feature of Pimlico ever since.
One of the traditions of the Preakness Stakes is that the official state song “Maryland, My Maryland,” is sung. The lyrics are in the lyrics
Then a horse blanket made by Black-eyed Susans, which is Maryland’s state flower, is produced, which is placed over the horse’s mane. Since Black.eyed Susans do not bloom until June or July, they use yellow daisies instead. They paint the center of them black to mimic the original.
Preakness Stakes is often referred to as the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.”
The Preakness Stakes were most often won by horses participating in the Kentucky Derby. In the last 27 years, only three horses have not run in the Kentucky Derby before winning.
More than half the time, it is the big favourite who takes home the victory in the Preakness Stakes. In the 141 races, it is the favourite that has advanced 72 times.
The wallet for the first Preakness Stakes was $ 2,050. Today it is $ 1.5 million.
The race date of the race has not always been the same. It is usually two weeks after the Kentucky Derby but it has been run twice in the same day and 11 times it has started before the derby.
Since 1969, there has been the same order and breaks between the races.