2015 marks the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland. As the second jewel in horseracing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness is steeped in racing history. In terms of racing attendance, the Preakness Stakes is second only to the Kentucky Derby with thousands of fans packing the grandstand and even the infield to watch horses thunder down Pimlico’s short stretch. Whereas roses are associated with the Kentucky Derby, the Black-Eyed Susan is the flower of the Preakness and the winning horse is draped in a bouquet of these flowers.
The history of the Preakness
The Preakness Stakes actually predates the Kentucky Derby by two years. It was ran for the first time in 1873. Maryland governor Oden Bowie actually named the race after a popular colt of the day. The very first running of the Preakness was a mild affair compared to the race as we know it today; it drew only seven runners and was won by Survivor. The winning horse and connections collected just $2,050 for their efforts.
For a very brief time the Preakness Stakes was run under handicap conditions and the age restrictions were lifted. Since 1916, however, the race has been restricted to three-year old colts and fillies that all carry the same weight based on their sex.
A long-standing tradition of the Preakness Stakes are the parties that are held in the track’s infield on race day. In recent years these parties have become quite a spectacle that include concerts by notable artists, food and drink, and guest appearances by celebrities.
The Preakness and the Triple Crown
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg in America’s Triple Crown racing series, following the Kentucky Derby and before the Belmont. It is customarily held on the third Saturday in May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The winner of the Kentucky Derby almost always shows up to compete in the Preakness. The distance of the race is 1 3/16 miles.
As the horses are led to the post the US Naval Academy Glee Club leads the crowd in singing “Maryland, My Maryland.”
EZ Horse Betting Fun Fact
Immediately after the Preakness is over and the official winner has been declared, a painter climbs to the top of the grandstand and paints the cupola in the colors of the winning owners. These colors will remain displayed until the next year’s Preakness Stakes.
Bet the Preakness at Bet America!
You can experience all the thrills of betting on the Preakness Stakes right from the comfort of your own home by registering an account with Bet America. All the same bets available at Pimlico Racecourse are offered on Preakness Day by Bet America. You can bet the guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 6, lay down a trifecta or superfecta, or even crush a Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness double! Register your account today and get in on the action! You can check out our reviews of horse betting sites.
Preakness Stakes Winners Since 2000 with $2 payoffs:
- 2012: I’ll Have Another $8.40
- 2011: Shackleford $27.20
- 2010: Lookin At Lucky $6.80
- 2009: Rachel Alexandra $5.60
- 2008: Big Brown $2.40
- 2007: Curlin $8.80
- 2006: Bernardini $27.80
- 2005: Afleet Alex $8.60
- 2004: Smarty Jones $3.40
- 2003: Funny Cide $5.80
- 2002: War Emblem $7.60
- 2001: Point Given $6.60
- 2000: Red Bullet $14.40