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Preakness Stakes History

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History of the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes was introduced in 1873 when Pimlico Racecourse held its first spring meet. The race has since become one of the most important in American Thoroughbred Racing and is the second leg of the American Triple Crown. It is also known as the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans”.

Survivor won the first ever Preakness Stakes in 1873 when he dusted his rivals by a 10 lengths. That win stood as the greatest margin of victory for well over a century, before the record was shattered by Smarty Jones in 2004 when he smoked the field by 11 ½ lengths.

Not so surprisingly, Secretariat owns the fastest time in the Preakness Stakes. As arguably the greatest racehorse of all time, Secretariat completed the 1 3/16th miles in an astounding time of 1:53.00. This winning time was actually awarded to Secretariat retroactively in 2012 when a timer malfunction was recalibrated.

A horse many experts consider the best of the 20th century, Man o’ War, captured the 1920 Preakness in his season debut after bypassing the Kentucky Derby. The once-beaten “Big Red” was followed a half-century later by another colt who shared that nickname: Secretariat (1973).

In addition to the 12 Triple Crown winners, the Preakness has been won by 23 other winners of the Kentucky Derby.

Fillies have won the Preakness five times, with Rachel Alexandra the most recent after she snapped an 85-year drought in 2009.

The connections of the Preakness winner are awarded replicas of the Woodlawn Vase. Designed by Tiffany and Company in 1860.

The 144th Preakness Stakes will run on Saturday, May 18th, 2019 and will once again cover 1 3/16th miles. It has covered this distance since 1925. After various changes in distance and date, the Preakness has been run at 1 3/16 miles since 1925 and its placement on the third Saturday in May firmly established since the 1950s.

The Preakness Stakes has been run at seven different distances throughout its history. In the modern era, it remains the shortest of the three legs in the Triple Crown series.

1 ½ Miles (1873-1888, 1890)
1 ¼ Miles (1889)
1 1/16 Miles  (1894-1900, 1908)
1 mile 70 yards (1901-1907)
1 1/8 Miles (1911-1924)
1 3/16 Miles (1925-present)

Due to various factors, such as size and composition of the field, the Preakness has rarely fallen prey to extreme longshots. The highest-priced winner in the race’s history, Master Derby (1975), returned only $48.80. The second highest-priced winner was Coventry, who paid $45.60 in 1925.

Pari-mutuel wagering on the Preakness has been offered for more than a century. As of 2015, 72 betting favorites have won the race, with Citation (1948) and Spectacular Bid (1979) the shortest-priced winners paying $2.20. The Preakness is typically the second or third most-wagered on race in the country. 

On-track crowds, in excess of 100,000. are common for the Preakness. The race tends to attract television ratings that are second only to the Kentucky Derby in volume (except when a Triple Crown is on the line in the Belmont Stakes) for an individual race in the US. A record crowd of 131,680 witnessed American Pharoah capture the 2015 Preakness en route to his Triple Crown sweep.

Though the Preakness Stakes is the crown jewel of Maryland’s Thoroughbred culture, the race also has strong ties to New York and New Jersey. In fact, the race is named after “Preakness”, a colt from New Jersey who grew up in an area of the state that shares that name as well. The Preakness Stakes was also run at Morris Park Racecourse (1890) in the Bronx and at the Gravesand Race Track (1894-1908) on Coney Island, both located in New York State. All other renewals have taken place at Pimlico in Maryland.

Wagering on the Preakness Stakes has been bolstered routinely by the momentum created by the Kentucky Derby. In 2016, when Exaggerator upset Nyquist to win the Preakness, the race set records in attendance and handle. Despite subpar weather there were 135,256 fans in the stands for the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes. A total of $94,127,434 was wagered during the 14-race program.

The next running of the Preakness Stakes is Saturday, May 20th, 2017.

The Triple Crown

There have been only been 12 horses to have claimed the Triple Crown. Since 1932, the Triple Crown has been run in the order we know today: Kentucky Derby, followed by Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to that, there wasn’t a formally established schedule.

The first winner of the Triple Crown was Sir Barton in 1919 largely because the series itself wasn’t an organized event until 1913. The most recent are Affirmed (1978) and American Pharoah (2015).

An additional 23 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but come up short at the Belmont Stakes. Some of the most notable horses to do so are Northern Dance (1964), Spectacular Bid (1979), Alysheba (1987), Sunday Silence (1989(, Silver charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Charismatic (1999), Smarty Jones (2004), I’ll Have Another (2012) and California Chrome (2014).


Preakness Stakes Winners & Records

The winningest jockey in Preakness Stakes history is Eddie Arcaro who also holds the records at the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes as well. Gary Stevens, Victor Espinoza and Kent Desormeaux all have the most wins amongst active jockeys with three apiece.

New York legend and Hall of Famer Robert Wyndham Walden, who led seven horses to victory during the late 19th century. He is trailed by Bob Baffert and D Wayne Lukas, who are active today and own six wins between the two of them. Calumet Farm is both the leading owner and breeder with 7 wins in the Preakness Stakes, dating back as early as 1941 and as recently as 2013.

Five fillies have also claimed victory at the Preakness Stakes. Four horses did so in the first quarter of the 20th century: Flocarline (1903), Whimsical (1906), Rhine Maiden (1915) and Nellie Morse (1924). The feat would not be recreated for another 85 years until Rachel Alexandra did so at the 2009 Preakness Stakes.

The speed record for the Preakness Stakes is held by Secretariat, who ran an astonishing 1:53.00 in 1973. This was highly contested at the time due to contradicting clockers and video evidence, who compared him to Canonero II’s time of 1:54.00 set in 1971. Secretariat was not awarded the official record for the fastest Preakness Stakes time until 2012. The legendary champion and Triple Crown winner now holds the speed record in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

The last 12 winners of the Preakness Stakes include:

2007 Preakness Stakes - Curlin
Curlin defeated Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense as the second choice, followed by Hard Spun. Later in the year, Curlin would win the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He is now one of the leading sires in the country.

2008 Preakness Stakes – Big Brown
During the 2008 Triple Crown campaign, Big Brown seemed like perfection. He won the Kentucky Derby easily and dominated the Preakness Stakes before coming up rank in the Belmont Stakes for reasons that nobody has really ascertained. He is still a beloved champion, having finished his career with a record of 7-0-0 in eight starts. His Belmont performance produced a DNF, and is the one glaring loss on his otherwise sterling record.

2009 Preakness Stakes – Rachel Alexandra
This race was unique in that it featured a duel between the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner and the 2009 Kentucky Oaks winner. Mine That Bird fell to Rachel Alexandra in a stunning upset. Rachel Alexandra is the only filly to win the Preakness Stakes in modern times. There are four others that accomplished this feat, the most recent prior to Rachel Alexandra being Nellie Morse in 1924.

2010 Preakness Stakes – Lookin at Lucky
This was a two-horse race at the start with Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver leading as a 5-2 preference over Lookin at Lucky, who earned 3-1 odds of his own. After finishing sixth at the derby, ‘Lucky’ would earn the win but did not run in the Belmont.

2011 Preakness Stakes - Shakelford
Shackleford is one of the biggest longshots to win the race in recent memory. A frontrunner by trade, he trailed to fourth at the Kentucky Derby but earned the win in the Preakness as a 13-1 longshot. He was able to fend off Animal Kingdom for the win.

2012 Preakness Stakes – I’ll Have Another
I’ll Have Another was the breakout horse for trainer Doug O’Neil and was one of the first of horses in a long time to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He eventually had to withdraw from the Belmont Stakes due to injury, but earned wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes to cement his legacy.

2013 Preakness Stakes  - Oxbow
Oxbow snuck up on everyone in the 2013 Preakness Stakes after finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby, which was won by Orb. Going off as a 15-1 longshot, Oxbow is the biggest longshot to win in a decade. He would finish second at the Belmont Stakes and fourth at the Haskell before retiring.

2014 Preakness Stakes – California Chrome
California Chrome is largely credited as the horse that reinvigorated mainstream interest in the sport. After winning the Kentucky Derby in rousing fashion, the colt ran to victory in the Preakness Stakes. His Triple Crown bid fell unfortunately short at the Belmont Stakes as he trailed to 4th. He has since been retired as one of the greatest ever.

2015 Preakness Stakes – American Pharoah
By now you should know that American Pharoah won the 2015 Triple Crown and went on to become the first Grand Slam Champion in history by also claiming the Breeders’ Cup Classic later that year.

2016 Preakness Stakes - Exaggerator
After narrowly losing to Nyquist at the Kentucky Derby, Exaggerator seized the moment on a muddy day at Pimlico Racecourse to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes in front of a record crowd.

2017 Preakness Stakes - Cloud Computing

2018 Preakness Stakes - Justify

Preakness Stakes Winners Race History

Year

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

Dist.

Time

2019          
2018 Justify*        
2017 Cloud Computing        

2016

Exaggerator

J. Keith Desormeaux

Kent Desormeaux

1-3/16

1:58.31

2015

American Pharoah*

Bob Baffert

Victor Espinoza

1-3/16

1:58.46

2014

California Chrome

Art Sherman

Victor Espinoza

1-3/16

1:54.84

2013

Oxbow

D. Wayne Lukas

Gary Stevens

1-3/16

1:57.54

2012

I'll Have Another

Doug O'Neill

Mario Gutierrez

1-3/16

1:55.94

2011

Shackleford

Dale Romans

Jesus Castanon

1-3/16

1:56.47

2010

Lookin At Lucky

Bob Baffert

Martin Garcia

1-3/16

1:55.47

2009

Rachel Alexandra**

Steve Asmussen

Calvin Borel

1-3/16

1:55.08

2008

Big Brown

Richard Dutrow

Kent Desormeaux

1-3/16

1:54.86

2007

Curlin

Steve Asmussen

Robby Albarado

1-3/16

1:53.46

2006

Bernardini

Tom Albertrani

Javier Castellano

1-3/16

1:54.65

2005

Afleet Alex

Timothy Ritchey

Jeremy Rose

1-3/16

1:55.04

2004

Smarty Jones

John Servis

Stewart Elliott

1-3/16

1:55.59

2003

Funny Cide

Barclay Tagg

Jose Santos

1-3/16

1:55.61

2002

War Emblem

Bob Baffert

Victor Espinoza

1-3/16

1:56.40

2001

Point Given

Bob Baffert

Gary Stevens

1-3/16

1:55.40

2000

Red Bullet

Joe Orseno

Jerry Bailey

1-3/16

1:56.00

1999

Charismatic

D. Wayne Lukas

Chris Antley

1-3/16

1:55.20

1998

Real Quiet

Bob Baffert

Kent Desormeaux

1-3/16

1:54.60

1997

Silver Charm

Bob Baffert

Gary Stevens

1-3/16

1:54.80

1996

Louis Quatorze

Nick Zito

Pat Day

1-3/16

1:53.40

1995

Timber Country

D. Wayne Lukas

Pat Day

1-3/16

1:54.40

1994

Tabasco Cat

D. Wayne Lukas

Pat Day

1-3/16

1:56.40

1993

Prairie Bayou

Tom Bohannan

Mike Smith

1-3/16

1:56.60

1992

Pine Bluff

Tom Bohannan

Chris McCarron

1-3/16

1:55.60

1991

Hansel

Frank L. Brothers

Jerry Bailey

1-3/16

1:54.00

1990

Summer Squall

Neil J. Howard

Pat Day

1-3/16

1:53.60

1989

Sunday Silence

Char.Whittingham

Pat Valenzuela

1-3/16

1:53.80

1988

Risen Star

Louie Roussel

Ed Delahoussaye

1-3/16

1:56.20

1987

Alysheba

Jack Van Berg

Chris McCarron

1-3/16

1:55.80

1986

Snow Chief

Melvin F. Stute

Alex Solis

1-3/16

1:54.80

1985

Tank's Prospect

D. Wayne Lukas

Pat Day

1-3/16

1:53.40

1984

Gate Dancer

Jack Van Berg

Angel Cordero

1-3/16

1:53.60

1983

Deputed Testamony

J. William Boniface

Donald Miller, Jr.

1-3/16

1:55.40

1982

Aloma's Ruler

John J. Lenzini, Jr.

Jack Kaenel

1-3/16

1:55.40

1981

Pleasant Colony

John P. Campo

Jorge Velasquez

1-3/16

1:54.60

1980

Codex

D. Wayne Lukas

Angel Cordero

1-3/16

1:54.20

1979

Spectacular Bid

Bud Delp

Ronnie Franklin

1-3/16

1:54.20

1978

Affirmed*

Laz Barrera

Steve Cauthen

1-3/16

1:54.40

1977

Seattle Slew*

Bill Turner

Jean Cruguet

1-3/16

1:54.40

1976

Elocutionist

Paul T. Adwell

John Lively

1-3/16

1:55.00

1975

Master Derby

Smiley Adams

Darrel McHargue

1-3/16

1:56.40

1974

Little Current

Lou Rondinello

Miguel A. Rivera

1-3/16

1:54.60

1973

Secretariat*

Lucien Laurin

Ron Turcotte

1-3/16

1:53.00

1972

Bee Bee Bee

Del W. Carroll

Eldon Nelson

1-3/16

1:55.60

1971

Canonero II

Juan Arias

Gustavo Avila

1-3/16

1:54.00

1970

Personality

John W. Jacobs

Eddie Belmonte

1-3/16

1:56.20

1969

Majestic Prince

Johnny Longden

Bill Hartack

1-3/16

1:55.60

1968

Forward Pass

Henry Forrest

Ismael Valenzuela

1-3/16

1:56.80

1967

Damascus

Frank Whiteley

Bill Shoemaker

1-3/16

1:55.20

1966

Kauai King

Henry Forrest

Don Brumfield

1-3/16

1:55.40

1965

Tom Rolfe

Frank Whiteley

Ron Turcotte

1-3/16

1:56.20

1964

Northern Dancer

Horatio Luro

Bill Hartack

1-3/16

1:56.80

1963

Candy Spots

Mesh Tenney

Bill Shoemaker

1-3/16

1:56.20

1962

Greek Money

Virgil W. Raines

John L. Rotz

1-3/16

1:56.20

1961

Carry Back

Jack A. Price

Johnny Sellers

1-3/16

1:57.60

1960

Bally Ache

Jimmy Pitt

Bobby Ussery

1-3/16

1:57.60

1959

Royal Orbit

Reggie Cornell

William Harmatz

1-3/16

1:57.00

1958

Tim Tam

Horace A. Jones

Ismael Valenzuela

1-3/16

1:57.20

1957

Bold Ruler

Jim Fitzsimmons

Eddie Arcaro

1-3/16

1:56.20

1956

Fabius

Horace A. Jones

Bill Hartack

1-3/16

1:58.40

1955

Nashua

Jim Fitzsimmons

Eddie Arcaro

1-3/16

1:54.60

1954

Hasty Road

Harry Trotsek

John H. Adams

1-3/16

1:57.40

1953

Native Dancer

Bill Winfrey

Eric Guerin

1-3/16

1:57.80

1952

Blue Man

Woody Stephens

Conn McCreary

1-3/16

1:57.40

1951

Bold

Preston M. Burch

Eddie Arcaro

1-3/16

1:56.40

1950

Hill Prince

Casey Hayes

Eddie Arcaro

1-3/16

1:59.20

1949

Capot

John M. Gaver, Sr.

Ted Atkinson

1-3/16

1:56.00

1948

Citation*

Horace A. Jones

Eddie Arcaro

1-3/16

2:02.40

1947

Faultless

Horace A. Jones

Douglas Dodson

1-3/16

1:59.00

1946

Assault*

Max Hirsch

Warren Mehrtens

1-3/16

2:01.40

1945

Polynesian

Morris H. Dixon

Wayne D. Wright

1-3/16

1:58.80

1944

Pensive

Ben A. Jones

Conn McCreary

1-3/16

1:59.20

1943

Count Fleet*

Don Cameron

Johnny Longden

1-3/16

1:57.40

1942

Alsab

Sarge Swenke

Basil James

1-3/16

1:57.00

1941

Whirlaway*

Ben A. Jones

Eddie Arcaro

1-3/16

1:58.80

1940

Bimelech

William A. Hurley

Fred A. Smith

1-3/16

1:58.60

1939

Challedon

Louis J. Schaefer

George Seabo

1-3/16

1:59.80

1938

Dauber

Richard E. Handlen

Maurice Peters

1-3/16

1:59.80

1937

War Admiral*

George Conway

Charley Kurtsinger

1-3/16

1:58.40

1936

Bold Venture

Max Hirsch

George Woolf

1-3/16

1:59.00

1935

Omaha*

Jim Fitzsimmons

Willie Saunders

1-3/16

1:58.40

1934

High Quest

Robert A. Smith

Robert Jones

1-3/16

1:58.20

1933

Head Play

Thomas P. Hayes

Charley Kurtsinger

1-3/16

2:02.00

1932

Burgoo King

H. J. Thompson

Eugene James

1-3/16

1:59.80

1931

Mate

James W. Healy

George Ellis

1-3/16

1:59.00

1930

Gallant Fox*

Jim Fitzsimmons

Earl Sande

1-3/16

2:00.60

1929

Dr. Freeland

Thomas J. Healey

Louis Schaefer

1-3/16

2:01.60

1928

Victorian

James G. Rowe, Jr.

Raymond Workman

1-3/16

2:00.20

1927

Bostonian

Fred Hopkins

Whitey Abel

1-3/16

2:01.60

1926

Display

Thomas J. Healey

John Maiben

1-3/16

1:59.80

1925

Coventry

William B. Duke

Clarence Kummer

1-3/16

1:59.00

1924

Nellie Morse**

Albert B. Gordon

John Merimee

 1 1⁄8

1:57.20

1923

Vigil

Thomas J. Healey

Benny Marinelli

 1 1⁄8

1:53.60

1922

Pillory

Thomas J. Healey

Louis Morris

 1 1⁄8

1:51.60

1921

Broomspun

James G. Rowe, Sr.

Frank Coltiletti

 1 1⁄8

1:54.20

1920

Man o' War

Louis Feustel

Clarence Kummer

 1 1⁄8

1:51.60

1919

Sir Barton*

H. Guy Bedwell

Johnny Loftus

 1 1⁄8

1:53.00

1918

War Cloud

Walter B. Jennings

Johnny Loftus

 1 1⁄8

1:53.60

1918

Jack Hare, Jr.

Frank D. Weir

Charles Peak

 1 1⁄8

1:53.40

1917

Kalitan

Bill Hurley

Everett Haynes

 1 1⁄8

1:54.40

1916

Damrosch

Albert G. Weston

Linus McAtee

 1 1⁄8

1:54.80

1915

Rhine Maiden**

Frank Devers

Douglas Hoffman

 1 1⁄8

1:58.00

1914

Holiday

J. Simon Healy

Andy Schuttinger

 1 1⁄8

1:53.80

1913

Buskin

John Whalen

James Butwell

 1 1⁄8

1:53.40

1912

Colonel Holloway

Dave Woodford

Clarence Turner

 1 1⁄8

1:56.60

1911

Watervale

John Whalen

Eddie Dugan

 1 1⁄8

1:51.00

1910

Layminster

J. Simon Healy

Roy Estep

1 mile

1:40.60

1909

Effendi

Frank C. Frisbie

Willie Doyle

1 mile

1:39.80

1908

Royal Tourist

A. Jack Joyner

Eddie Dugan

1-1/16

1:46.40

1907

Don Enrique

John Whalen

George Mountain

1-1/16

1:45.40

1906

Whimsical**

Tim J. Gaynor

Walter Miller

1-1/16

1:45.00

1905

Cairngorm

A. Jack Joyner

Willie Davis

1-1/16

1:45.80

1904

Bryn Mawr

W. Fred Presgrave

Gene Hildebrand

1-1/16

1:44.20

1903

Flocarline**

H. C. Riddle

William Gannon

1-1/16

1:44.80

1902

Old England

Green B. Morris

L. Jackson

1-1/16

1:45.80

1901

The Parader

Thomas J. Healey

F. Landry

1-1/16

1:47.20

1900

Hindus

John H. Morris

Henry Spencer

1-1/16

1:48.40

1899

Half Time

Frank McCabe

Richard Clawson

1-1/16

1:47.00

1898

Sly Fox

Hardy Campbell, Jr.

Willie Simms

1-1/16

1:49.75

1897

Paul Kauvar

Thomas P. Hayes

T. Thorpe

1-1/16

1:51.25

1896

Margrave

Byron McClelland

Henry Griffin

1-1/16

1:51.00

1895

Belmar

Edward Feakes

Fred Taral

1-1/16

1:50.50

1894

Assignee

William Lakeland

Fred Taral

1-1/16

1:49.25

1893

No Race

No Race

No Race

no race

0:00.00

1892

No Race

No Race

No Race

no race

0:00.00

1891

No Race

No Race

No Race

no race

0:00.00

1890

Montague

Edward Feakes

Willie Martin

 1 1⁄2

2:36.75

1889

Buddhist

John W. Rogers

George Anderson

 1 1⁄4

2:17.50

1888

Refund

R. W. Walden

Fred Littlefield

 1 1⁄2

2:49.00

1887

Dunboyne

William Jennings

William Donohue

 1 1⁄2

2:39.50

1886

The Bard

John Huggins

S. Fisher

 1 1⁄2

2:45.00

1885

Tecumseh

Charles Littlefield

Jim McLaughlin

 1 1⁄2

2:49.00

1884

Knight of Ellerslie

Thomas Doswell

S. Fisher

 1 1⁄2

2:39.50

1883

Jacobus

R. Dwyer

George Barbee

 1 1⁄2

2:42.50

1882

Vanguard

R. W. Walden

Tom Costello

 1 1⁄2

2:44.50

1881

Saunterer

R. W. Walden

Tom Costello

 1 1⁄2

2:40.50

1880

Grenada

R. W. Walden

Lloyd Hughes

 1 1⁄2

2:40.50

1879

Harold

R. W. Walden

Lloyd Hughes

 1 1⁄2

2:40.50

1878

Duke of Magenta

R. W. Walden

C. Holloway

 1 1⁄2

2:41.75

1877

Cloverbrook

Jeter Walden

C. Holloway

 1 1⁄2

2:45.50

1876

Shirley

W. Brown

George Barbee

 1 1⁄2

2:44.75

1875

Tom Ochiltree

R. W. Walden

Lloyd Hughes

 1 1⁄2

2:43.50

1874

Culpepper

Hugh Gaffney

William Donohue

 1 1⁄2

2:56.50

1873

Survivor

A. Davis Pryor

George Barbee

 1 1⁄2

2:43.00

* Triple Crown Winner
** Filly

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