Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes is observed next on Saturday, May 20th, 2023 (164 days from today).

How many days until Preakness Stakes?

Preakness

The Preakness Stakes is an annual horse race of Thoroughbred horses celebrated at the Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, Maryland, which is the second event in the Triple Crown, a series of three horse races.

Whether you cheer the horses from the Grand Stand, celebrate at InfieldFest or just enjoy a Black-Eyed Susan cocktail at home, the third weekend in May is a party in Baltimore.

What Is the Preakness Stakes?

Preakness Stakes is a competitive race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, and it is part of the Triple Crown. Running on 1,900 meters (1,181 miles) dirt track, it is the shortest race by distance in the Triple Crown. To be the winner or be the Triple Crown, a horse must beat the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Until now, there are only 12 horses won the Triple Crown.

Geldings and ponies are required to carry 57 kg (126lb) and load 55 kg (121lb) when running the race. A gelding is a castrated stallion, while a foal is a young stallion. Fillies are female horses.

History of the Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes are named after Preakness, the pony that won the first race, the Banquet, held in Pimlico on October 25th, 1870. Seven crossbred horses ran the first Preakness stake on May 27, 1873, and the winning horse was named Survivor.

Preakness Stakes do not always take place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. Until 1932, Preakness was usually held before or on the day of the Kentucky Derby.

How to celebrate Preakness Stakes

Known as the Second Jewel in the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes were first held in 1873. It is an integral part of Maryland culture and is celebrated by fans of the sport as an adventure of horse racing. Like most equestrian events, Stakes sees attendees well-dressed and fashionable, with women wearing elaborate headgear and hats.

  • Run for Black-Eyed Susans

Preakness Stakes are also sometimes called the Runway because of the black-eyed Susans, after the Rudbeckia hirta, the state flower of Maryland. The winner, however, did not receive a blanket of black-eyed Susan because they don't bloom until June. Instead, they were presented with a blanket of Viking flowers or daisies that had been painted to look like black-eyed Susan.

  • The official song of Maryland

The race began with a performance of the third verse of Maryland, My Maryland, the state song of Maryland. Often performed by the U.S. Naval Academy's Glee Club, the song has roots in the American Civil War and was widely used during the war to rally soldiers against the Confederacy. Because of its controversial past, there have been several legislative attempts to remove it as an official state song.

  • Painted weather vane

After the winner was declared, an artist climbed onto the roof of the building and painted the iron weather vane on top in the winner's colors. The vane has the shape of a horse and pony, and was commissioned in 1909 by the Maryland Racing Club.

  • Woodlawn average

The winner of the Staking is presented with the prestigious Woodland Vase, a silver trophy designed and created by New York City jewelers, Tiffany & Co. into it during the year. Since then, the 3-foot-tall trophy, valued at a million dollars and considered the sport's most valuable trophy, has been awarded only symbolically. The winner now receives a copy, while the original is kept at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Observed

Preakness Stakes has been observed the third Saturday in May.

Dates

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Saturday, May 17th, 2025

Also on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

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