The second event in horse racing's Triple Crown
, between the Kentucky Derby
and the Belmont Stakes
The Preakness is run on the third Saturday in May at Pimlico Race Course
in Baltimore, Maryland
First run in 1873, the race was 1 1/2 miles over a dirt track, but the distance was changed in 1925 to 1 3/16 miles. The race was named in honor of Preakness
, the colt who won the 1870 Dinner Party Stakes at Pimlico's opening. Like the Kentucky Derby, the race is open to three year olds. Colts
carry 126 pounds and fillies
get a five pound allowance. Although five fillies have won the Preakness, most compete in the females-only Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
instead. The record time for the race, held by Tank's Prospect (1985) and Louis Quatorze (1996), is 1:53 2/5.
As the horses parade to the post, the song "Maryland, My Maryland" is played. The winner of the Preakness is draped with a blanket of Black-eyed Susans in the Winner's Circle. These are actually daisies died yellow and black because the real thing does not bloom in May. The owner of the winning horse is presented with the Woodlawn Vase, the most valuable trophy in American sports (estimated worth $1 million). The owner actually takes home a sterling silver replica of the trophy, which is worth about $30,000. After the winner is declared official by the judges, an iron weather vane featuring a horse and jockey is painted to match the silks of the winning owner. This remains in the track infield until the following year.
Winners of the Preakness Stakes:
Source: The Maryland Jockey Club at http://www.marylandracing.com