Preakness Stakes Traditions

Pimlico is famous for many Preakness Stakes traditions.

The Black Eyed Susan is also the official drink of the Preakness Stakes. The yellow drink has bourbon, vodka, and orange juice as part of the makeup.

As soon as the race is official, a painter climbs a ladder to the horse and rider weather vane above the Preakness winner’s circle. Within minutes of the race, the winner’s silks decorate the weather vane and stay there all year as a reminder of who won Maryland’s biggest race.

Another entertaining Preakness Stakes tradition is the Alibi Breakfast. All of the owners, trainers and other connections of the runners meet at the track for breakfast on Thursday, where they tell jokes and offer up amusing excuses for losing before the race even happens. Media are honored at the event for their contributions to the sport, and tickets to the event are hard to come by.

The Preakness Stakes has been at 1 3/16 miles since 1925, but before that was run over varying distances from one mile to 1 ½ mile. It was even at 1 ¼ mile once, and 1 1/8 miles from 1911 to 1924.

Preakness Stakes Winners

The Preakness Stakes had one of the most eventful and memorable editions in recent years in 2015 when the skies opened up and the track was hit with a deluge of rain during the post parade. Undeterred by the sloppy racetrack, Kentucky Derby champion American Pharoah rolled to one of the most impressive victories of his career.

He would go on to become the first horse since 1978 to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes and win the Triple Crown, and later added the Breeders’ Cup Classic to complete racing’s Grand Slam.

preakness stakes odds

The race has been won six times by fillies defeating male rivals, most recently in 2020 when Swiss Skydiver out gamed Kentucky Derby winner Authentic to take home the blanket of Black-Eyed Susans.

Smarty Jones earned the largest margin of victory at 11 1/2 lengths in 2004, with Survivor in 1873 winning by 10 lengths and Funny Cide in 2003 winning by 9 ¾ lengths. The untouchable Secretariat holds the speed record, finishing the race at 1:53:00 in 1973. Swiss Skydiver’s 2020 Preakness was the second-fastest in history; she ran the race in 1:53.28.

Preakness Stakes Fields

In 2016, Nyquist too faced a wet track but he did not excel over it like his predecessor, American Pharoah. Exaggerator romped over the off-track and denied Nyquist a chance at the Triple Crown.

Perhaps the most startling Preakness win of modern times was in 2005 when Afleet Alex, who had missed to Giacomo in the Kentucky Derby, stumbled to his knees at the top of the lane when 13-1 shot Scrappy T unexpectedly ducked out. Afleet Alex under Jeremy Rose recovered and rolled to a 4 ¾ length victory over Scrappy T and Giacomo. He went on to win the Belmont Stakes and later sired numerous stakes winners.

In 2019, War of Will gave trainer Mark Casse his first Triple Crown race win. The Canadian-based trainer has been enshrined in the Canadian Hall of Fame for years but had never won an American Triple Crown race. War of Will got it done over favored Improbable after Maximum Security bumped him hard in the Kentucky Derby, costing him all chance to win. Casse ended up winning the Belmont Stakes three weeks later but not with War of Will, instead stablemate Sir Winston surprised.

The most famous Preakness outside of Secretariat’s was in 1989 when Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence and future Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer hooked up and battled the length of the stretch. They were noses apart all the way to the wire, with Sunday Silence winning. Easy Goer would upset his Triple Crown bid, but Sunday Silence would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Both horses are in the Hall of Fame.

Years later in 2007, Derby winner Street Sense and upstart Curlin would put on a similar show, with Curlin narrowly winning and going on to take the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup.

preakness stakes racebook

Preakness Stakes Winningest Trainers and Jockeys

The winningest Preakness trainers with seven wins apiece are R. Wyndham Walden and Bob Baffert. Walden won the Preakness seven times from 1875-1888, including five in a row. Baffert has won the Preakness in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2015, and 2018 with names like American Pharoah, Justify, and Silver Charm.

The winningest Preakness jockey is Eddie Arcaro, who last won it in 1957. He has six wins, while the most wins in modern times were five by Pat Day, who won with Tank’s Prospect, Summer Squall, Tabasco Cat, Timber Country, and Louis Quatorze. Victor Espinoza has won three since 2002. The winningest owner and breeder both is Calumet Farm with seven, starting in 1941 and most recently with Oxbow in 2013.

Standings

The Preakness Stakes was run for the first time in 1873 and is the second jewel of the most sought-after prize in all of Thoroughbred racing – the Triple Crown. The Preakness Stakes is held every year at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland and is traditionally scheduled two weeks after the Kentucky Derby.

The Preakness Stakes is a Grade 1 race that is contested at a mile and three-sixteenths. The purse has varied between $1 million and $1.5 million over the years. The race traditionally attracts some of the top three-year-olds in the country and barring injury or incident, the Kentucky Derby winner will generally compete to try to move one step closer to immortality. The challenge of the Preakness Stakes for the [+]

Kentucky Derby winner is a combination of the quick two-week turnaround as well as the fact that often times they are facing fresh rivals who sat out the Run for the Roses.

The Preakness Stakes is known for having a raucous infield party in the center of the track and Pimlico is typically filled to capacity for their premier event.

Preakness Stakes Betting Sites

Wondering how to bet on the Preakness Stakes? Finding the right site is the first step!

Horse racing is one of the most enjoyable sports to wager on due to the speed of the event. Within the span of a lightening-quick two minute run, winners are made and champions are born. Choosing between all the different racebooks can seem daunting at first, but it's worth it to make sure you find the best bonuses, rebates and other promotions that help tilt the odds in your favor.

Our expert reviews can let you know which sportsbooks offer the best odds on the Preakness Stakes bets you want to make, and whick ones offer the best horse racing bonuses and rebates for your betting style.

Preakness Stakes Winners

The Preakness Stakes had one of the most eventful and memorable editions in recent years in 2015 when the skies opened up and the track was hit with a deluge of rain during the post parade. Undeterred by the sloppy racetrack, Kentucky Derby champion American Pharoah rolled to one of the most impressive victories of his career. He would go on to become the first horse since 1978 to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes and win the Triple Crown.

The race has been won five times by fillies defeating male rivals, most recently in 2009 by Rachel Alexandra who now holds a spot in horse racing’s Hall of Fame. She was the first filly to win since Nellie Morse in 1924. Smarty Jones earned the largest margin of victory at 11 1/2 lengths in 2004 while the untouchable Secretariat holds the speed record, finishing the race in 1:53:00. Louis Quatorze nearly beat Secretariat's mark in 1996 by finishing with a time of 1:53.40.

In 2016, Nyquist too faced a wet track but he did not excel over it like his predecessor, American Pharoah. Exaggerator romped over the off track and denied Nyquist a chance at the Triple Crown.

2022 Preakness Stakes Probable Starters and Picks

Concluding our Preakness Stakes betting guide we have the possible starters and winners. The field for the Preakness Stakes has not been finalized yet.  Assuming he comes out of the Kentucky Derby well, the likely favorite will be Epicenter.

Other horses who may show up in the Preakness include beloved Early Voting, Kentucky Derby star ZandonCreative Minister , and Rich Strike, who may try to become the seventh filly to win the Preakness Stakes, and the second in a row.

Once the picture for the Preakness Stakes becomes clearer, we will have odds, analysis, and expert selections!


Preakness Stakes FAQ

  • When is the Preakness Stakes?

    The Preakness Stakes is traditionally run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. So, the 2022 Preakness Stakes will be run on Saturday, May 21, 2022.

  • Where is the Preakness Stakes?

    The Preakness Stakes will be run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Will the race be on TV?

    Yes! You can watch the Preakness Stakes live on NBC. The Preakness should run at about 5:45pm Eastern Daylight Time.

  • Who won the Preakness Stakes in 2021?

    Rombauer won the Preakness Stakes in 2020. She beat Kentucky Derby winner Authentic. She became only the sixth filly to win the Preakness, and won it in the second-fastest time ever at the 1 3/16-mile distance, behind only Secretariat.

  • How many horses compete in the Preakness Stakes?

    Up to fourteen horses can run in the Preakness Stakes. That field typically includes both horses coming out of the Kentucky Derby and horses who prepared for the Preakness in other races.

  • How many people attend the Preakness Stakes each year?

    Most years, between 130,000 and 140,000 people attend the Preakness, making it the second-best attended horse race behind the Kentucky Derby.

  • Which Triple Crown races follow the Preakness?

    Traditionally the Preakness is the second race of the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby precedes it, and the Belmont Stakes is run three weeks after the Preakness.

  • How long is the Preakness Stakes?

    The Preakness is a mile and three sixteenths, or nine and a half furlongs. It has been run at distances as short as a mile and as long as a mile and a half in its history, but it is well established as the shortest of the three Triple Crown races at this 1 3/16-mile distance.

  • Who is the 2022 Preakness favorite?

    Betting on the Preakness Stakes becomes clearer closer to the race. However, the Kentucky Derby winner is typically the favorite in the Preakness Stakes. That means Epicenter is the most likely 2022 Preakness favorite.

  • Where can bettors place Kentucky Derby bets?

    Thanks to the internet, people can now bet the Preakness from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Racebooks are available on any Internet-connected device, such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

  • Is it possible to bet the race from a mobile device?

    There are two easy ways to bet the Preakness on a mobile device. Use the browser to access the sportsbook website, read through the offered wagers and odds, and place a bet.

    Or, many sportsbooks offer mobile betting apps that provide one-tap access to the best odds and a full-featured wagering experience designed for mobile.

  • What are the best sportsbooks for betting the Preakness?

    Choosing the right place to bet the Preakness can be complicated since there are so many options online. Don’t make that important decision alone! Our sportsbook reviews feature independent evaluations by betting experts, so bettors can make an educated decision about which sportsbook gives them the best features, odds, and promotions for their needs.

  • Do sportsbooks offer promotions for betting the Preakness Stakes?

    Top online sportsbooks offer an excellent range of promotions for betting the Preakness, including deposit bonuses and betting rebates. Horse racing rebates typically range from 7%-15% of daily betting volume, paid out every day whether you win or lose your wagers.

  • Do sportsbooks provide live streaming of the Preakness?

    Unfortunately, most sportsbooks do not offer live streaming of the Preakness yet. However, it is worth checking your favorite sportsbooks closer to the race date to see if they have signed a contract.

    You can watch the NBC telecast of the Preakness Stakes on your TV or smartphone while wagering the Preakness at home, in order to see the race live.

  • What Preakness bets do online sportsbooks offer?

    Online sportsbooks offer a full range of betting options on the Preakness Stakes. Those include traditional horse racing bets like win, place, and show as well as various prop bets and event bets that bettors previously had to travel to Las Vegas to make.

    Popular Preakness bets include:

    • Win
    • Place
    • Show
    • Daily Double
    • Pick 3
    • Pick 4
    • Exacta
    • Quinella
    • Trifecta
    • Superfecta