Everyone knows that the Kentucky Derby is the most famous American horse race, and the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky has long been known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” And the Belmont Stakes in New York, which completes the American Triple Crown, is nearly as famous, in part because of the memorable 31-length victory by Secretariat in 1973 to seal a Triple Crown and put his name in the history books forever. All three of the Triple Crown races are major betting days, and handicappers have capitalized on tvg promos to help boost their bankroll to have a winning day at the races. But what about the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland? The middle leg of the Triple Crown is sometimes overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be as it stands right up with the others as one of the most important and historic races on the planet.
One thing you might not know about the Preakness Stakes is that it’s actually two years older than the Kentucky Derby. The Preakness was first contested back in 1873, while the Derby didn’t start until 1875. The Preakness also regularly attracts more racing fans than the Belmont Stakes, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 130,000 fans attending each year.
The list of horses to have won the Preakness is astounding. Of course there all the Triple Crown winners won the Preakness, but do did arguably the best horse in history that never won the Triple Crown – Man ‘o War. The great horse surely could have won the Kentucky Derby, but the Triple Crown wasn’t a big deal in 1920 so he didn’t even make his 3-year-old racing debut until the Preakness, and then he went on to win the Belmont by an amazing 20 lengths.
The Preakness also has the most expensive and historic trophy in all of sports. The Woodlawn Vase is more than 150 years old, and actually is older than the race itself. It contains an incredible 30 pounds of silver, which at the time was worth a small fortune. Now it’s worth a large fortune, so much so that no one really knows what it’s worth because it’s priceless.
Just like Kentucky Derby Day, Preakness Day is much more than just a horse race. You will see the gamut of fashion at Pimlico that day, from suits, dresses and hats that cost more than a car in the clubhouse area, to college kids with t-shirts and flip flops in the infield enjoying a beer or 12.
So whether you are interested in the Preakness for the history, the betting, the fashion or just the fun, it’s always been a great American race and will continue to be so.