Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is an American 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 Course in Baltimore, Maryland. 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 horseshoe of black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia hirta), the state flower of Maryland, is traditionally placed around the winner's neck.


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 Preakness, Wayne Township, New Jersey who won the Dinner Party Stakes on the day Pimlico Race Course opened on October 25, 1870.

The first Preakness drew seven starters; John Chamberlain's three-year-old, Survivor, galloped home easily by 10 lengths, the largest margin of victory until 2004, winning a purse of $2,050.

In 1889, George "Spider" Anderson became the first African-American jockey to win the Preakness.

In 1890 Morris Park Racecourse in the Bronx, New York 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 Island, New York.

Evolution of the Triple Crown series

The Preakness is the second leg in American 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, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby. 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 Maryland. Traditionally, the United States Naval Academy 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. S/he applies the colors of the victorious owner's silks on the jockey and horse that are part of the weather vane atop the infield structure. The horseshoe of black-eyed Susans 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.

The practice started in 1909 at Pimlico when a horse and rider weather vane sat at the top of 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.

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 Society and brought to the Preakness race each year for the winner's presentation ceremony.

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

The leading Preakness winning jockeys are:

The leading Preakness winning trainers are:

Calumet Farm is both the leading breeder and owner of Preakness winners with seven each.

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 Course 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.

Four fillies have won the Preakness:

List of winners

Dist. (Miles)
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. IEAH Stable & P. Pompa, Jr. 1:54.80 1.1875
2007 Curlin Robby Albarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables et al 1:53.46 1.1875
2006 Bernardini Javier Castellano Tom Albertrani Darley Stables 1:54.65 1.1875
2005 Afleet Alex Jeremy Rose Timothy F. Ritchey Cash is King Stable 1:55.04 1.1875
2004 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis Someday Farm 1:55.59 1.1875
2003 Funny Cide Jose Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 1:55.61 1.1875
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 1:56.40 1.1875
2001 Point Given Gary Stevens Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 1:55.40 1.1875
2000 Red Bullet Jerry Bailey Joe Orseno Stronach Stables 1:56.00 1.1875
1999 Charismatic Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Bob & Beverly Lewis 1:55.20 1.1875
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram 1:54.80 1.1875
1997 Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 1:54.40 1.1875
1996 Louis Quatorze Pat Day Nick Zito C-C-H Partners 1:53.40 1.1875
1995 Timber Country Pat Day D. Wayne LukasOverbrook/Gainesway/Lewis 1:54.40 1.1875
1994 Tabasco Cat Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas D. P. Reynolds & Overbrook 1:56.40 1.1875
1993 Prairie Bayou Mike E. Smith Tom Bohannan Loblolly Stable 1:56.60 1.1875
1992 Pine Bluff Chris McCarron Tom Bohannan Loblolly Stable 1:55.60 1.1875
1991 Hansel Jerry Bailey Frank L. Brothers Lazy Lane Farms 1:54.00 1.1875
1990 Summer Squall Pat Day Neil J. Howard Dogwood Stable 1:53.60 1.1875
1989 Sunday Silence Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 1:53.80 1.1875
1988 Risen Star Ed Delahoussaye Louie Roussel III Roussel & R. Lamarque 1:56.20 1.1875
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer 1:55.80 1.1875
1986 Snow Chief Alex Solis Melvin F. Stute Grinstead & Rochelle 1:54.80 1.1875
1985 Tank's Prospect Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1:53.40 1.1875
1984 Gate Dancer Angel Cordero, Jr. Jack Van Berg Kenneth Opstein 1:53.60 1.1875
1983 Deputed Testamony Donald Miller, Jr. J. William Boniface Bonita Farm 1:55.40 1.1875
1982 Aloma's Ruler Jack L. Kaenel John Lenzini, Jr. Nathan Scherr 1:55.40 1.1875
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velasquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm 1:54.60 1.1875
1980 Codex Angel Cordero, Jr. D. Wayne Lukas Tartan Stable 1:54.20 1.1875
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1:54.20 1.1875
1978 AffirmedSteve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1:54.40 1.1875
1977 Seattle SlewJean Cruguet William H. Turner, Jr. Karen L. Taylor 1:54.40 1.1875
1976 Elocutionist John L. Lively Paul Adwell Eugene C. Cashman 1:55.00 1.1875
1975 Master Derby Darrel McHargue Smiley Adams Golden Chance Farm 1:56.40 1.1875
1974 Little Current Miguel A. Rivera Lou Rondinello Darby Dan Farm 1:54.60 1.1875
1973 SecretariatRon Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1:54.40 1.1875
1972 Bee Bee Bee Eldon Nelson Red Carroll William S. Farish III 1:55.60 1.1875
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Avila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett 1:54.00 1.1875
1970 Personality Eddie Belmonte John W. Jacobs Ethel D. Jacobs 1:56.20 1.1875
1969 Majestic Prince Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank M. McMahon 1:55.60 1.1875
1968 Forward Pass Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1:56.80 1.1875
1967 Damascus Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Edith W. Bancroft 1:55.20 1.1875
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable 1:55.40 1.1875
1965 Tom Rolfe Ron Turcotte Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Powhatan Stable 1:56.20 1.1875
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 1:56.80 1.1875
1963 Candy Spots Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1:56.20 1.1875
1962 Greek Money John L. Rotz Virgil W. Raines Brandywine Stable 1:56.20 1.1875
1961 Carry Back Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price 1:57.60 1.1875
1960 Bally Ache Bobby Ussery Jimmy Pitt Turfland 1:57.60 1.1875
1959 Royal Orbit William Harmatz Reggie Cornell Jacques Braunstein 1:57.00 1.1875
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:57.20 1.1875
1957 Bold Ruler Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 1:56.20 1.1875
1956 Fabius Bill Hartack Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:58.40 1.1875
1955 Nashua Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1:54.60 1.1875
1954 Hasty Road John Adams Harry Trotsek Hasty House Farm 1:57.40 1.1875
1953 Native Dancer Eric Guerin Bill Winfrey Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 1:57.80 1.1875
1952 Blue Man Conn McCreary Woody Stephens White Oak Stable 1:57.40 1.1875
1951 Bold Eddie Arcaro Preston M. Burch Brookmeade Stable 1:56.40 1.1875
1950 Hill Prince Eddie Arcaro Casey Hayes Christopher Chenery 1:59.20 1.1875
1949 Capot Ted Atkinson John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 1:56.00 1.1875
1948 CitationEddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:02.40 1.1875
1947 Faultless Douglas Dodson Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:59 1.1875
1946 AssaultWarren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 2:01.40 1.1875
1945 Polynesian Wayne D. Wright Morris Dixon Gertrude T. Widener 1:58.80 1.1875
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:59.20 1.1875
1943 Count FleetJohnny Longden G. Donald Cameron Fannie Hertz 1:57.40 1.1875
1942 Alsab Basil James Sarge Swenke Mrs. Albert Sabath 1:57.00 1.1875
1941 WhirlawayEddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:58.80 1.1875
1940 Bimelech Fred A. Smith Bill Hurley Edward R. Bradley 1:58.60 1.1875
1939 Challedon George Seabo Louis J. Schaefer William L. Brann 1:59.80 1.1875
1938 Dauber Maurice Peters Richard E. Handlen Foxcatcher Farms 1:59.80 1.1875
1937 War AdmiralCharley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 1:58.40 1.1875
1936 Bold Venture George Woolf Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 1:59.00 1.1875
1935 OmahaWillie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1:58.40 1.1875
1934 High Quest Robert Jones Robert A. Smith Brookmeade Stable 1:58.20 1.1875
1933 Head Play Charley Kurtsinger Thomas P. Hayes Mrs. Silas B. Mason 2:02.00 1.1875
1932 Burgoo King Eugene James H. J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1:59.80 1.1875
1931 Mate George Ellis James W. Healy Albert C. Bostwick 1:59.00 1.1875
1930 Gallant FoxEarl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 2:00.60 1.1875
1929 Dr. Freeland Louis Schaefer Thomas J. Healey Walter J. Salmon, Sr. 2:01.60 1.1875
1928 Victorian Sonny Workman James G. Rowe, Jr. Harry P. Whitney 2:00.20 1.1875
1927 Bostonian Whitey Abel Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney 2:01.60 1.1875
1926 Display John Maiben Thomas J. Healey Walter J. Salmon, Sr. 1:59.80 1.1875
1925 Coventry Clarence Kummer William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran 1:59.00 1.1875
1924 Nellie Morse John Merimee Albert B. Gordon Bud Fisher 1:57.20 1.1250
1923 Vigil Benny Marinelli Thomas J. Healey Walter J. Salmon, Sr. 1:53.60 1.1250
1922 Pillory Louis Morris Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 1:51.60 1.1250
1921 Broomspun Frank Coltiletti James G. Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney 1:54.20 1.1250
1920 Man o' War Clarence Kummer Louis Feustel Glen Riddle Farm 1:51.60 1.1250
1919 Sir BartonJohnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 1:53.00 1.1250
1918 Jack Hare Jr. Charles Peak F. D. Weir W. E. Applegate 1:53.40 1.1250
1918 War Cloud Johnny Loftus W. B. Jennings A. Kingsley Macomber 1:53.60 1.1250
1917 Kalitan E. Haynes Bill Hurley Edward R. Bradley 1:54.40 1.1250
1916 Damrosch Linus McAtee Albert G. Weston J. K. L. Ross 1:54.80 1.1250
1915 Rhine Maiden Douglas Hoffman F. Devers E. F. Whitney 1:58.00 1.1250
1914 Holiday Andy Schuttinger J. S. Healy Mrs. A. Barklie 1:53.80 1.1250
1913 Buskin James Butwell John Whalen John Whalen 1:53.40 1.1250
1912 Colonel Holloway Clarence Turner Dave Woodford Beverwyck Stable 1:56.60 1.1250
1911 Watervale Eddie Dugan John Whalen August Belmont, Jr. 1:51.00 1.1250
1910 Layminster Roy Estep J. S. Healy Capt. E. B. Cassatt 1:40.60 1.0000
1909 Effendi Willie Doyle F. C. Frisbie W. T. Ryan 1:39.80 1.0000
1908 Royal Tourist Eddie Dugan Andrew J. Joyner Harry P. Whitney 1:46.40 1.0625
1907 Don Enrique G. Mountain John Whalen August Belmont, Jr. 1:45.40 1.0398
1906 Whimsical Walter Miller T. J. Gaynor T. J. Gaynor 1:45.00 1.0398
1905 Cairngorm W. Davis Andrew J. Joyner Sydney Paget 1:45.80 1.0398
1904 Bryn Mawr Gene Hildebrand W. F. Presgrave Goughacres Stable 1:44.20 1.0398
1903 Flocarline W. Gannon H. C. Riddle M. H. Ticenor 1:44.80 1.0398
1902 Old England L. Jackson Green B. Morris Green B. Morris 1:45.80 1.0398
1901 The Parader F. Landry Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 1:47.20 1.0398
1900 Hindus H. Spencer J. H. Morris George J. Long 1:48.40 1.0625
1899 Half Time R. Clawson Frank McCabe Philip J. Dwyer 1:47.00 1.0625
1898 Sly Fox Willie Simms Hardy Campbell Charles F. Dwyer 1:49.75 1.0625
1897 Paul Kauvar T. Thorpe T. P. Hayes T. P. Hayes 1:51.25 1.0625
1896 Margrave Henry Griffin Byron McClelland August Belmont, Jr. 1:51.00 1.0625
1895 Belmar Fred Taral Edward Feakes Preakness Stables 1:50.50 1.0625
1894 Assignee Fred Taral W. Lakeland James & Foxhall Keene 1:49.25 1.0625
1890 Montague W. Martin Edward Feakes Preakness Stables 2:36.75 1.5000
1889 Buddhist George B. Anderson J. Rogers Sam S. Brown 2:17.50 1.2500
1888 Refund Fred Littlefield R. Wyndham Walden R. Wyndham Walden 2:49.00 1.5000
1887 Dunboyne William Donohue W. Jennings W. Jennings 2:39.50 1.5000
1886 The Bard S. Fisher John Huggins A. J. Cassatt 2:45.00 1.5000
1885 Tecumseh Jim McLaughlin Charles S. Littlefield W. Donohue 2:49.00 1.5000
1884 Knight of Ellerslie S. Fisher Thomas W. Doswell Hancock/Doswell 2:39.50 1.5000
1883 Jacobus George Barbee R. Dwyer J. E. Kelly 2:42.50 1.5000
1882 Vanguard T. Costello R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 2:44.50 1.5000
1881 Saunterer T. Costello R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 2:40.50 1.5000
1880 Grenada Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 2:40.50 1.5000
1879 Harold Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 2:40.50 1.5000
1878 Duke of Magenta C. Holloway R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 2:41.75 1.5000
1877 Cloverbrook C. Holloway Jeter Walden E. A. Clabaugh 2:45.50 1.5000
1876 Shirley George Barbee W. Brown Pierre Lorillard IV 2:44.75 1.5000
1875 Tom Ochiltree Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden John F. Chamberlain 2:43.50 1.5000
1874 Culpepper William Donohue H. Gaffney H. Gaffney 2:56.50 1.5000
1873 Survivor George Barbee A. D. Pryor John F. Chamberlain 2:43.00 1.5000

A † designates a Triple Crown Winner

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 Pennsylvania but was euthanized January 29, 2007. This year's ninth race is now called the Barbaro Stakes in his honor.


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