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The Preakness Stakes is an Americanmarker Grade I stakes race 1-3/16 mile (1.91 km) thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses, held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Coursemarker in Baltimore, Marylandmarker. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies 121 lb (55 kg). The Preakness Stakes has been termed "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" because a blanket of Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta, the state flower of Marylandmarker) is traditionally placed around the winner's neck. The attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Belmont Stakes, the Breeders' Cup and the Kentucky Oaks. The attendance of the Preakness Stakes typically only trails the Kentucky Derby, for more information see American Thoroughbred Racing top Attended Events.


Two years before the Kentucky Derby was run for the first time, Pimlico introduced its new stakes race for three-year-olds, the Preakness, during its first-ever spring race meet in 1873. Former Maryland Governor Oden Bowie named the then mile and one-half (2.41 km) race in honor of the colt Preakness from Milton Holbrook Sanford's Preakness Stables in Preaknessmarker, Wayne Townshipmarker, New Jerseymarker, who won the Dinner Party Stakes on the day Pimlico opened (October 25, 1870). The New Jersey name was said to have come from the Native American name Pra-qua-les ("Quail Woods") for the area.

The first Preakness, held on May 27, 1873, drew seven starters. John Chamberlain's three-year-old, Survivor, collected the $2,050 winning purse by galloping home easily by 10 length. This was the largest margin of victory until 2004, when Smarty Jones won by 11 lengths.

In 1889, George "Spider" Anderson became the first African-American jockey to win the Preakness. In 1890 Morris Park Racecoursemarker in the Bronx, New Yorkmarker hosted the Preakness Stakes after which there was no race run for three years. For the 15 years from 1894 through 1908, the race was held at Gravesend Race Track on Coney Islandmarker, New Yorkmarker. In 1909 it returned to Pimlico.

In March 2009 Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Pimlico, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy thus throwing open the possibility the Stakes could move again. On April 13, 2009, the Maryland Legislature approved a plan to buy the Stakes and the Pimlico course if Magna Entertainment cannot find a buyer.

Evolution of the Triple Crown series

The Preakness is the second leg in Americanmarker thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series and almost always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner, some of the other horses that ran in the Derby, and often a few horses that did not start in the Derby. The Preakness is 1 3/16 miles, or 9 1/2 furlongs, compared to the Kentucky Derby, which is 1 1/4 miles. It is followed by the third leg, the Belmont Stakes, which is 1 1/2 miles.

Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, the Preakness was run before the Derby eleven times. On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day.

Running the race

Just after the horses for the Preakness are called to the post, the audience is invited to sing "Maryland, My Maryland," the official state song of Marylandmarker. Traditionally, the United States Naval Academymarker Glee Club assembles in the Pimlico infield to lead the song.

As soon as the Preakness winner has been declared official, a painter climbs a ladder to the top of a replica of the Old Clubhouse cupola. The colors of the victorious owner's silks are applied on the jockey and horse that are part of the weather vane atop the infield structure. The practice began in 1909 when a horse and rider weather vane sat atop the old Members' Clubhouse, which was constructed when Pimlico opened in 1870. The Victorian building was destroyed by fire in June 1966. A replica of the old building's cupola was built to stand in the Preakness winner's circle in the infield.

A blanket of yellow flowers daubed with black lacquer to recreate the appearance of a black-eyed Susan (see below) is placed around the winning horse's neck at this time, and a replica of the Woodlawn Vase is given to the winning horse's owner. Should that horse have also won the Kentucky Derby, speculation and excitement immediately begin to mount as to whether that horse will go on to win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing at the Belmont Stakes in June.

Winning the race

In 1917, the first Woodlawn Vase was awarded to the Preakness winner, who was not allowed 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 Maryland Historical Societymarker and brought to the Preakness race each year for the winner's presentation ceremony.

In 1940, it was proposed to drape the winning horse in a garland of black-eyed Susans, the state flower of Maryland. This posed a problem, as the race is run nearly two months before the flowers come into bloom in late June or July. At first, yellow daisies were painted to resemble black-eyed Susans; workers switched to chrysanthemums later. Although the Preakness is sometimes referred to at "the race for the black-eyed Susans", no black-eyed Susan is ever used.

In 1918, 26 horses entered the race, and it was run in two divisions, providing for two winners that year. Currently, the race is limited 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 km) : 1889
  • 1-1/16 miles (1.71 km) : 1894-1900, 1908
  • 1 mile 70 yards (1.67 km) : 1901-1907
  • 1 mile (1.61 km) : 1909, 1910
  • 1-1/8 miles (1.81 km) : 1911-1924
  • 1-3/16 miles (1.91 km) : 1925-present


Speed record:
  • Set by Tank's Prospect in 1985 and equaled by Louis Quatorze in 1996 and Curlin in 2007, the time record for the current 1-3/16 miles (1.91 km) Preakness is 1:53 2/5 seconds. (Secretariat, the 1973 winner, was also credited with running 1:53 2/5 by the Daily Racing Form. However, the timer malfunctioned during that race, and Pimlico Race Coursemarker does not recognize that time, instead assigning Secretariat a time of 1:54 2/5.) The record victory margin is 11½ lengths, by Smarty Jones in 2004.

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

Fillies in the Preakness

Five fillies have won the Preakness in 134 races:

(Three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby in 134 races, and three fillies have won the Belmont stakes in 139 races. On average, fillies have won between 2% and 3% of the Triple Crown races, with similar numbers for geldings; while about 95% of these high-stakes races have been won by uncastrated male horses, colts or stallions.)

Winners of the Preakness Stakes









2009 Rachel Alexandra Calvin Borel Steve Asmussen Stonestreet/H. T. McCormick 1-3/16 1:55.08 I
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. IEAH Stables & P. Pompa, Jr. 1-3/16 1:54.86 I
2007 Curlin Robby Albarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables et al. 1-3/16 1:53.46 I
2006 Bernardini Javier Castellano Tom Albertrani Darley Stables 1-3/16 1:54.65 I
2005 Afleet Alex Jeremy Rose Timothy F. Ritchey Cash is King Stable 1-3/16 1:55.04 I
2004 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis Someday Farm 1-3/16 1:55.59 I
2003 Funny Cide Jose Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 1-3/16 1:55.61 I
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 1-3/16 1:56.40 I
2001 Point Given Gary Stevens Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 1-3/16 1:55.40 I
2000 Red Bullet Jerry Bailey Joe Orseno Stronach Stables 1-3/16 1:56.00 I
1999 Charismatic Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Bob & Beverly Lewis 1-3/16 1:55.20 I
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram 1-3/16 1:54.80 I
1997 Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 1-3/16 1:54.40 I
1996 Louis Quatorze Pat Day Nick Zito Condren/Cornacchia/Hoffman 1-3/16 1:53.40 I
1995 Timber Country Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook/Gainesway/Lewis 1-3/16 1:54.40 I
1994 Tabasco Cat Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas D. P. Reynolds & Overbrook 1-3/16 1:56.40 I
1993 Prairie Bayou Mike E. Smith Tom Bohannan Loblolly Stable 1-3/16 1:56.60 I
1992 Pine Bluff Chris McCarron Tom Bohannan Loblolly Stable 1-3/16 1:55.60 I
1991 Hansel Jerry Bailey Frank L. Brothers Lazy Lane Farms 1-3/16 1:54.00 I
1990 Summer Squall Pat Day Neil J. Howard Dogwood Stable 1-3/16 1:53.60 I
1989 Sunday Silence Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 1-3/16 1:53.80 I
1988 Risen Star Ed Delahoussaye Louie Roussel III Roussel & R. Lamarque 1-3/16 1:56.20 I
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer 1-3/16 1:55.80 I
1986 Snow Chief Alex Solis Melvin F. Stute Grinstead & Rochelle 1-3/16 1:54.80 I
1985 Tank's Prospect Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1-3/16 1:53.40 I
1984 Gate Dancer Angel Cordero, Jr. Jack Van Berg Kenneth Opstein 1-3/16 1:53.60 I
1983 Deputed Testamony Donald Miller, Jr. J. William Boniface Bonita Farm 1-3/16 1:55.40 I
1982 Aloma's Ruler Jack Kaenel John J. Lenzini, Jr. Nathan Scherr 1-3/16 1:55.40 I
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velasquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm 1-3/16 1:54.60 I
1980 Codex Angel Cordero, Jr. D. Wayne Lukas Tartan Stable 1-3/16 1:54.20 I
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1-3/16 1:54.20 I
1978 Affirmed Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1-3/16 1:54.40 I
1977 Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet William H. Turner, Jr. Karen L. Taylor 1-3/16 1:54.40 I
1976 Elocutionist John Lively Paul T. Adwell Eugene C. Cashman 1-3/16 1:55.00 I
1975 Master Derby Darrel McHargue Smiley Adams Golden Chance Farm 1-3/16 1:56.40 I
1974 Little Current Miguel A. Rivera Lou Rondinello Darby Dan Farm 1-3/16 1:54.60 I
1973 Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1-3/16 1:54.40 I
1972 Bee Bee Bee Eldon Nelson Del W. Carroll William S. Farish III 1-3/16 1:55.60
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Avila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett 1-3/16 1:54.00
1970 Personality Eddie Belmonte John W. Jacobs Ethel D. Jacobs 1-3/16 1:56.20
1969 Majestic Prince Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank M. McMahon 1-3/16 1:55.60
1968 Forward Pass Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1-3/16 1:56.80
1967 Damascus Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Edith W. Bancroft 1-3/16 1:55.20
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable 1-3/16 1:55.40
1965 Tom Rolfe Ron Turcotte Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Powhatan Stable 1-3/16 1:56.20
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 1-3/16 1:56.80
1963 Candy Spots Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1-3/16 1:56.20
1962 Greek Money John L. Rotz Virgil W. Raines Brandywine Stable 1-3/16 1:56.20
1961 Carry Back Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price 1-3/16 1:57.60
1960 Bally Ache Bobby Ussery Jimmy Pitt Turfland 1-3/16 1:57.60
1959 Royal Orbit William Harmatz Reggie Cornell Jacques Braunstein 1-3/16 1:57.00
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1-3/16 1:57.20
1957 Bold Ruler Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 1-3/16 1:56.20
1956 Fabius Bill Hartack Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1-3/16 1:58.40
1955 Nashua Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1-3/16 1:54.60
1954 Hasty Road John H. Adams Harry Trotsek Hasty House Farm 1-3/16 1:57.40
1953 Native Dancer Eric Guerin Bill Winfrey Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 1-3/16 1:57.80
1952 Blue Man Conn McCreary Woody Stephens White Oak Stable 1-3/16 1:57.40
1951 Bold Eddie Arcaro Preston M. Burch Brookmeade Stable 1-3/16 1:56.40
1950 Hill Prince Eddie Arcaro Casey Hayes Christopher Chenery 1-3/16 1:59.20
1949 Capot Ted Atkinson John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 1-3/16 1:56.00
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1-3/16 2:02.40
1947 Faultless Douglas Dodson Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1-3/16 1:59.00
1946 Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 1-3/16 2:01.40
1945 Polynesian Wayne D. Wright Morris H. Dixon Gertrude T. Widener 1-3/16 1:58.80
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1-3/16 1:59.20
1943 Count Fleet Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 1-3/16 1:57.40
1942 Alsab Basil James Sarge Swenke Mrs. Albert Sabath 1-3/16 1:57.00
1941 Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1-3/16 1:58.80
1940 Bimelech Fred A. Smith William J. Hurley Edward R. Bradley 1-3/16 1:58.60
1939 Challedon George Seabo Louis J. Schaefer William L. Brann 1-3/16 1:59.80
1938 Dauber Maurice Peters Richard E. Handlen Foxcatcher Farms 1-3/16 1:59.80
1937 War Admiral Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 1-3/16 1:58.40
1936 Bold Venture George Woolf Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 1-3/16 1:59.00
1935 Omaha Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1-3/16 1:58.40
1934 High Quest Robert Jones Robert A. Smith Brookmeade Stable 1-3/16 1:58.20
1933 Head Play Charley Kurtsinger Thomas P. Hayes Mrs. Silas B. Mason 1-3/16 2:02.00
1932 Burgoo King Eugene James H. J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1-3/16 1:59.80
1931 Mate George Ellis James W. Healy Albert C. Bostwick 1-3/16 1:59.00
1930 Gallant Fox Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1-3/16 2:00.60
1929 Dr. Freeland Louis Schaefer Thomas J. Healey Walter J. Salmon, Sr. 1-3/16 2:01.60
1928 Victorian Raymond Workman James G. Rowe, Jr. Harry P. Whitney 1-3/16 2:00.20
1927 Bostonian Whitey Abel Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney 1-3/16 2:01.60
1926 Display John Maiben Thomas J. Healey Walter J. Salmon, Sr. 1-3/16 1:59.80
1925 Coventry Clarence Kummer William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran 1-3/16 1:59.00
1924 Nellie Morse John Merimee Albert B. Gordon Bud Fisher 1-1/8 1:57.20
1923 Vigil Benny Marinelli Thomas J. Healey Walter J. Salmon, Sr. 1-1/8 1:53.60
1922 Pillory Louis Morris Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 1-1/8 1:51.60
1921 Broomspun Frank Coltiletti James G. Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney 1-1/8 1:54.20
1920 Man o' War Clarence Kummer Louis Feustel Glen Riddle Farm 1-1/8 1:51.60
1919 Sir Barton Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 1-1/8 1:53.00
1918 War Cloud Johnny Loftus Walter B. Jennings A. Kingsley Macomber 1-1/8 1:53.60
1918 Jack Hare, Jr. Charles Peake Frank D. Weir W. E. Applegate 1-1/8 1:53.40
1917 Kalitan Everett Haynes Bill Hurley Edward R. Bradley 1-1/8 1:54.40
1916 Damrosch Linus McAtee Albert G. Weston J. K. L. Ross 1-1/8 1:54.80
1915 Rhine Maiden Douglas Hoffman Frank Devers Edward F. Whitney 1-1/8 1:58.00
1914 Holiday Andy Schuttinger J. Simon Healy Mrs. A. Barklie 1-1/8 1:53.80
1913 Buskin James Butwell John Whalen John Whalen 1-1/8 1:53.40
1912 Colonel Holloway Clarence Turner Dave Woodford Beverwyck Stable 1-1/8 1:56.60
1911 Watervale Eddie Dugan John Whalen August Belmont, Jr. 1-1/8 1:51.00
1910 Layminster Roy Estep J. Simon Healy Edward B. Cassatt 1 mile 1:40.60
1909 Effendi Willie Doyle Frank C. Frisbie W. T. Ryan 1 mile 1:39.80
1908 Royal Tourist Eddie Dugan A. Jack Joyner Harry P. Whitney 1-1/16 1:46.40
1907 Don Enrique George Mountain John Whalen August Belmont, Jr. 1-1/16 1:45.40
1906 Whimsical Walter Miller Tim J. Gaynor Tim J. Gaynor 1-1/16 1:45.00
1905 Cairngorm Willie Davis A. Jack Joyner Sydney Paget 1-1/16 1:45.80
1904 Bryn Mawr Gene Hildebrand W. Fred Presgrave Goughacres Stable 1-1/16 1:44.20
1903 Flocarline William Gannon H. C. Riddle M. H. Tichenor 1-1/16 1:44.80
1902 Old England L. Jackson Green B. Morris Green B. Morris 1-1/16 1:45.80
1901 The Parader F. Landry Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 1-1/16 1:47.20
1900 Hindus Henry Spencer John H. Morris George J. Long 1-1/16 1:48.40
1899 Half Time Richard Clawson Frank McCabe Philip J. Dwyer 1-1/16 1:47.00
1898 Sly Fox Willie Simms Hardy Campbell, Jr. Charles F. Dwyer 1-1/16 1:49.75
1897 Paul Kauvar T. Thorpe Thomas P. Hayes Thomas P. Hayes 1-1/16 1:51.25
1896 Margrave Henry Griffin Byron McClelland August Belmont, Jr. 1-1/16 1:51.00
1895 Belmar Fred Taral Edward Feakes Preakness Stables 1-1/16 1:50.50
1894 Assignee Fred Taral William Lakeland James & Foxhall Keene 1-1/16 1:49.25
1892 no race no race no race no race no race 0:00.00
1891 no race no race no race no race no race 0:00.00
1890 Montague Willie Martin Edward Feakes Preakness Stables 1-1/2 2:36.75
1889 Buddhist George Anderson John W. Rogers Sam S. Brown 1-1/4 2:17.50
1888 Refund Fred Littlefield R. Wyndham Walden R. Wyndham Walden 1-1/2 2:49.00
1887 Dunboyne William Donohue William Jennings William Jennings 1-1/2 2:39.50
1886 The Bard S. Fisher John Huggins A. J. Cassatt 1-1/2 2:45.00
1885 Tecumseh Jim McLaughlin Charles S. Littlefield W. Donohue 1-1/2 2:49.00
1884 Knight of Ellerslie S. Fisher Thomas W. Doswell Hancock/Doswell 1-1/2 2:39.50
1883 Jacobus George Barbee R. Dwyer James E. Kelley 1-1/2 2:42.50
1882 Vanguard Tom Costello R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 1-1/2 2:44.50
1881 Saunterer Tom Costello R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 1-1/2 2:40.50
1880 Grenada Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 1-1/2 2:40.50
1879 Harold Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 1-1/2 2:40.50
1878 Duke of Magenta C. Holloway R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 1-1/2 2:41.75
1877 Cloverbrook C. Holloway Jeter Walden E. A. Clabaugh 1-1/2 2:45.50
1876 Shirley George Barbee W. Brown Pierre Lorillard IV 1-1/2 2:44.75
1875 Tom Ochiltree Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden John F. Chamberlain 1-1/2 2:43.50
1874 Culpepper William Donohue Hugh Gaffney Hugh Gaffney 1-1/2 2:56.50
1873 Survivor George Barbee A. Davis Pryor John F. Chamberlain 1-1/2 2:43.00

A designates a Triple Crown Winner.

A designates a filly.

Note: D. Wayne Lukas swept the 1995 Triple Crown with two different horses.

In 2006, Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro broke down in the first 100 yards of the Preakness. Bernardini went on to win the prestigious event. Barbaro survived his injuries and was cared for at the New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvaniamarker but was euthanized January 29, 2007 due to complications from laminitis. This year's ninth race is now called the Barbaro Stakes in his honor.

See also


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