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The second leg of

the Triple crown

The Preakness Stakes

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The Preakness Stakes held at Pimlico Race Course
from Wikipedia,

The Preakness Stakes is a classic 1 3/16 mile (1.91 km)
thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds, held on the third
Saturday in May. It's ran at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore,
Maryland. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies
121 lb (55 kg).

The Preakness is the second and shortest leg in thoroughbred
racing's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, 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 phrase "Triple Crown" was not applied to this
series of races until the 1930s.) It is followed by the third
leg, the Belmont Stakes.

History of the Preakness Stakes

Two years before the Kentucky Derby was run for the first time,
Pimlico introduced its new stakes race for three-year-olds, the
Preakness, during its first-ever spring race meet in 1873.
Governor Bowie had named the then mile and one-half (2.41 km)
race in honor of Dinner Party Stakes-winner, Preakness, from the
Preakness Stables, Wayne, New Jersey.

The first Preakness drew seven starters; John Chamberlain's
three-year-old, Survivor, galloped home easily by ten
lengths--the largest margin of victory until 2004--winning a
purse of $2,050.

In 1889, George "Spider" Anderson became the first
African-American jockey to win the Preakness. Between 1890 and
1908, the Preakness was run at Morris Park Racetrack in the
Bronx, New York and at the Gravesend, New York racetrack.

As soon as the Preakness winner has been declared official, a
painter climbs a ladder to the top of a replica of the Old
Clubhouse cupola. He applies the colors of the victorious owner's
silks on the jockey and horse which are part of the weather vane
atop the infield structure.

The practice started in 1909 at Pimlico when a horse and rider
weather vane sat at the top of the old Members' Clubhouse, which
was constructed when Pimlico opened in 1870. The Victorian
building was destroyed by fire in June, 1966. A replica of the
old building's cupola was built to stand in the Preakness
winner's circle in the infield.

In 1917, the first "Woodlawn Vase" was awarded to the Preakness
winner which he was not allowed to keep. Eventually a half-size
reproduction of the trophy was given winners to keep permanently.
The original trophy is kept at the Baltimore Museum of Art and
brought to the Preakness race each year for the winner's
presentation ceremony.

In 1918, twenty six horses entered the race and it was run in two
divisions providing for two winners that year.

In 1948, the Preakness was televised for the first time by CBS.

The Preakness has been run at seven different distances:

1 1/2 miles (2.41 km) -- 1873 to 1888 and 1890
1 1/4 miles (2.01 km) -- 1889
1 1/16 miles (1.71 km) -- 1894 to 1900 and 1908
1 mile 70 yards (1.67 km) -- 1901 to 1907
1 mile (1.61 km) -- 1909 and 1910
1 1/8 miles (1.81 km) -- 1911 to 1924
1 3/16 miles (1.91 km) -- 1925 to present

The leading Preakness winning jockeys are:

Eddie Arcaro : 6 - including 2 consecutive wins in 1950-51
Pat Day : 5 - including 3 consecutive wins in 1994-96
George Barbee, Bill Hartack and Lloyd Hughes : 3


The leading Preakness winning trainers are:

Robert W. Walden : 7
Thomas J. Healey : 5
D. Wayne Lukas : 5
Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons : 4
Horace A. "Jimmy" Jones : 4
Bob Baffert : 4
John Whalen : 3

Calumet Farm is both the leading breeder and owner of Preakness
winners with 7 each.

Set by Tank's Prospect in 1985 and equaled by Louis Quatorze in
1996, the speed record for the current 1 3/16 miles (1.91 km)
Preakness is 1 minute 53 2/5 seconds.


The record victory margin is 11 lengths, by Smarty Jones in 2004.

See also:  Winning Horses of the Preakness Stakes

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