Maryland is the home of Pimlico Racecourse where the second leg of the world-famous thoroughbred Triple Crown races, the Preakness Stakes, held after the Kentucky Derby and before the Belmont Stakes. Pimlico has two race courses: Main Track - One Mile, oval. Turf Course - 7/8 of a mile inside the main track.
Pimlico officially opened in the fall of 1870, with the colt Preakness winning the first running of the Dinner Party Stakes. Three years later the horse would have the 1873 Preakness Stakes named in his honor.
When: May 19, 2018 Track: Pimlico Race Course Distance: 9.5 furlongs (1 3/16 miles) on dirt Record: 1:53 - Secretariat (1973) TV: NBC
Once the Preakness Stakes field is announced it's important to evaluate all of the entries not only as you would any other race but with the following concepts in mind:
Distance: The Preakness Stakes is run over a distance of a mile and 3/16, meaning that it's actually a little bit shorter than the Kentucky Derby which precedes it by two weeks. That means that there's not much of a question about Preakness entrants' ability to handle this distance.
Schedule: One of the most significant reasons that winning the Triple Crown is such a rare event is the grueling schedule of the three races. While the ideal layoff between races varies from horse to horse, most high level equine competitors race fewer than 10 times per year. In most cases, thoroughbreds seldom race without a break of three weeks to a month.
Weather / Track Condition: horses are very sensitive to the conditions in which they run and the surfaces they run on. On balance, most owners and trainers try to avoid racing a promising young horse in inclement weather or on a sloppy track. If the weather at a racetrack becomes particularly bad you'll see a number of 'late scratches' for this reason.
Post Position: Only one horse "Rachel Alexandra" in 2009, has won the Preakness from the outside post position. In theory, the horses who draw the inside post positions have an advantage over the ones to the outside in any race. At Pimlico, however, there's a historically demonstrated bias to horses that can run well on the rail. There's been a number of theories for why racing near the rail is so valuable at Pimlico, from firmer dirt to an advantage in the tight turns. Whatever the reason, it's something to pay attention to.
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The Preakness is the second leg in American thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series 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 Preakness is 1 3/16 miles, or 9 1/2 furlongs, compared to the Kentucky Derby, which is 1 1/4 miles / 10 furlongs. It is followed by the third leg, the Belmont Stakes, which is 1 1/2 miles / 12 furlongs.
Winners of The Preakness Stakes since 1997 2017 Cloud Computing 1:55.98 2016 Exaggerator 1:58.31 2015 American Pharoah 1:58.46 2014 California Chrome 1:54.84 2013 Oxbow 1:57.54 2012 I'll Have Another 1:55.94 2011 Shackleford 1:56.47 2010 Lookin At Lucky 01:55:47 2009 Rachel Alexandra 01:55.08 2008 Big Brown 01:54.86 2007 Curlin 01:53.46 2006 Bernardini 1:54.65 2005 Afleet Alex 1:55.04 2004 Smarty Jones 1:55.59 2003 Funy Cide 1:55.61 2002 War Emblem 1:56.40 2001 Point Given 1:55.40 2000 Red Bullet 1:56.00 1999 Charismatic 1:55.20 1998 Real Quiet 1:54.80 1997 Silver Charm 1:54.40
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