The Preakness Stakes

 The Preakness Stakes is an American flat thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

Preakness StakesThe Preakness is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs (1 3/16 miles) on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies 121 lb (55 kg).

First run in 1873, the Preakness Stakes was named by a former Maryland Governor after a winning colt at Pimlico. The race has been termed “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” because a blanket of yellow flowers altered to resemble the Maryland State flower is placed around the winner’s neck. Attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America only trailing the Kentucky Derby.

The 139th running of The Preakness Stakes will take place on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 for a purse of $1,500,000.

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 9½ furlongs, compared to the Kentucky Derby, which is 1¼ miles. It is followed by the third leg, the Belmont Stakes, which is 1½ miles.

Triple Crown the Preakness

Since 1932, the order of Triple Crown races has the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1932, 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.

Today, the Preakness is run on the third Saturday in May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.

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