The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown, contested at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on the third Saturday of May. The race was named after the winner of the Dinner Party Stakes in 1870.
The first Preakness drew seven starters and was won by Survivor in 1873, who galloped home easily by ten lengths and won $2,050. That was the largest winning margin of victory until Smarty Jones won by 11 1/2 lengths in 2004.
The Preakness was not always contested at Pimlico. It was run at Morris Park in New York in 1890. The Preakness was run for 15 years at the Gravesend track in Brooklyn, New York. The race returned home to Pimlico in 1909.
In 1918 the Preakness produced two winners, and it was not a dead heat. The race was run in divisions, the only American classic race to ever be split. The winners were War Clout and Jack Hare Jr.
The Preakness has been held on every day of the week except for Sunday. It has been contested on Saturday since 1931, but was run on Tuesday 14 times and on Friday 13 times.
Preakness Run Prior to Derby
The Preakness was run before the Kentucky Derby on 11 occasions and in 1917 and 1922 were run on the same day. Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner, claimed the Preakness Stakes just four days after his Derby win.
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While the Preakness has been run at its current distance (1 3/16 miles) since 1925, it has been run at six other distances, ranging from one mile to 1 1/2 miles.
R. Wyndham Walden leads all trainers with seven wins. D. Wayne Lukas leads all active trainers with five wins. Eddie Arcaro leads all jockeys with six Preakness wins, one ahead of Pat Day.
Only two female jockeys have ridden in the Preakness. Patricia Cooksey was the first when she finished sixth on Tajawa in 1985. Andrea Seefeldt rode Looming to a seventh-place finish in 1994.
Fillies have won the Preakness four times times. Rachel Alexandra became the first in seven decades when she won the 2009 running. Before that is was Nellie Morse, who won won in 1924 and Rhine Maiden in 1915. The in 2020 Swiss Skydiver beat the boys to become the fourth.