The information about the Preakness Stakes regards the second most attended horse race in the United States after the Kentucky Derby. These two, in addition to the Belmont Stakes, form the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The Preakness Stakes is also one of the oldest races in the country, so it has a long and proud history.
In this article, you will learn about the Preakness Stakes such as its history and past winners. We will also tell you more about betting on the Preakness Stakes.
Information About the Preakness Stakes
The race falls into the Grade I category and takes place in Baltimore, Maryland. The surface of the track is dirt, and the distance is around two kilometres (or about one and a quarter miles). The race is open for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses which can be either colts or fillies, and they can win the prize pool of 1 million dollars. The event is the second race of the Triple Crown because it takes place on the third Saturday of May – two weeks after the Kentucky Derby has ended.
The History of the Preakness Stakes
The Preakness Stakes has been around since its creation in 1873. That is three years before the opening of the Pimlico Racecourse – the place where the event takes place. The first race in this racecourse was won by Preakness, so that is how the Maryland Governor decided to name the competition the Preakness Stakes. The first event took place on the 27th of May, 1873, and a horse named Survivor claimed the victory. It was one of the seven horses which participated in the event and won more than 2000$. The difference between the first and second place was ten lengths, which was the largest winning margin for more than a century.
The Preakness Stakes has also taken place at the Morris Park Racecourse in New York (1890), and the Gravesend Racecourse in New York (1894-1908). Since then the event has never been on another track different from Pimlico. A notorious incident happened in 1917 and 1922 – the race took place on the same day as the Kentucky Derby.
If you want more information about the Preakness Stakes, then you should know that some of the traditions of the race include the crowd signing the Maryland state song, which is performed by the Baltimore Colts’ Marching Band before the beginning of the race. Another interesting detail is the fact that a painter would paint the weather vane, which used to be at the top of the Members’ Clubhouse, in the colours of the owner of the winner. Even though the clubhouse burned down, the tradition still stands.
But the most popular tradition of this event is the flower blanket which is given to the horse that finishes first. The flowers were supposed to be black-eyed Susans – the official flower of Maryland, but the event is held before they bloom, so they had to use a replica. That is where the nickname of the event comes from – “the race for the black-eyed Susans.” Before, the winner received the Woodlawn Vase, but they were not allowed to keep it, so instead they get a replica.
How to Bet on the Preakness Stakes
You can place a wager on this horse race by going to the track, but it is way easier to use a gambling website with information about the Preakness Stakes. The best ones usually cover all of the bigger horse racing events, so you probably won’t have any problems finding it. There are numerous betting options you can choose from, so the betting experience is not much different from the one on the racecourse.
Here are the previous five winners of the race:
- 2016 – Horse – Exaggerator. Rider – Kent Desormeaux. Trainer – J. Keith Desormeaux.
- 2015 – Horse – American Pharoah. Rider – Victor Espinoza. Trainer – Bob Baffert.
- 2014 – Horse – California Chrome. Rider – Victor Espinoza. Trainer – Art Sherman.
- 2013 – Horse – Oxbow. Rider – Gary Stevens. Trainer – D. Wayne Lukas.
- 2012 – Horse – I’ll Have Another. Rider – Mario Guiterrez. Trainer – Doug O’Neill.