Preakness Stakes

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Preakness Stakes History.

The Preakness was established at Pimlico in 1873 and was named after the horse that won the Dinner Party Stakes at the track in its opening year, 1870. The Preakness was put on hold at Pimlico in 1889 and run at Morris Park in Westchester County, New York City, in 1890.

After a respite of three years, the race returned in 1894 however was held at the Gravesend track in Brooklyn, New York City, until 1908, whereupon the race finally went back to Maryland and settled permanently at Pimlico the following year.

Preakness traditions include the vocal singing of “Maryland, My Maryland,” the official state song; the “painting of the colors,” in which a painter, right after the winner has been officially announced, climbs a ladder to the top of the replica Old Clubhouse and applies the colors of the winning team’s silks to the cupola’s jockey-and-horse weather vane; and the draping of the winning horse with a blanket of “black-eyed Susans.” (Because black-eyed Susans, which are Maryland’s state flower, generally do not flower until June or July, yellow daisies are used instead, with their centers hand-painted with black lacquer to mimic the flower.)

After the fashion of the Kentucky Derby’s nickname,” Run for the Roses,” the Preakness is commonly called “the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.”

The Race of Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is an American thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs (1 +3 ⁄ 16 miles (1,900 m)) on dirt.

Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies 121 pounds (55 kg). It is the second jewel of the Triple Crown, held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and 3 weeks prior to the Belmont Stakes. At its inauguration in 1873, the Preakness carried a worth of $1,000.

The first major increase occurred in 1919 when the race had a $25,000 value. It climbed to $100,000 in 1946 and in 1959 was raised to $150,000. Subsequent increases occurred from 1979 to 1989, when the purse rose 4 times from $200,000 to $500,000, before going to $1 million in 1997. 

On December 12, 2013, the Maryland Jockey Club announced for the 2014 running of the Preakness, the purse would be raised from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.


Preakness stakes Winners

In 1917, the first Woodlawn Vase was awarded to the Preakness winner, who was not permitted to keep it. Eventually, a half-size reproduction of the trophy was given to winners to keep permanently. The original trophy is kept at the Baltimore Museum of Art and brought to the race each year under guard, for the champion’s presentation ceremony.

In 1918, 26 horses entered the race, and it was run in two divisions, providing for two champions that year. Currently, the race is restricted to 14 horses.

In 1948, the Preakness was televised for the first time by CBS.

The Preakness has been run at seven different distances:

1 +1 ⁄ 2 miles (2.41 km): 1873– 1888, 1890
1 +1 ⁄ 4 miles (2.01 kilometres): 1889
1 +1 ⁄ 16 miles (1.71 km): 1894– 1900, 1908
1 mile 70 yards (1.67 km): 1901– 1907.
1 mile (1.61 kilometres): 1909, 1910.
1 +1 ⁄ 8 miles (1.81 kilometres): 1911– 1924.
1 +3 ⁄ 16 miles (1.91 km): 1925– existing.

Preakness Stakes Odds

The 149th Preakness Stakes or what is often called “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” highlights the second leg of the 2024 Triple Crown, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18th at post time 6:50 p.m. ET

The race takes place at Pimlico Race Course from Baltimore, Maryland in the United States, and features the top three-year-old horses in the world.

Check the Preakness Stakes odds

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