Following the Kentucky Derby, the annual Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown. It is run the third Saturday in May at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, and a celebration leads up to the running.
Preakness Celebration has become a tradition for people of all ages since its inception in 1988. This series of special events celebrates the annual running of the Preakness Stakes, Baltimore's "Super Bowl" and the second jewel in thoroughbred racing's prestigious Triple Crown.
Each year, a variety of special events take place throughout the week leading up to the big race. Those events often include a jockey autograph session, 20-minute morning tours of Pimlico (where visitors can view the sunrise from the Grandstand apron and watch the Preakness contenders' morning workouts) and more.
Black-Eyed Susan Day, featuring the mile and one-eighth test race for three-year-old fillies, takes place the day before Preakness. And Infield Fest, a day-long party featuring live performances by international superstars, coincides with race day.
History of the Preakness Stakes
Part of a long heritage of racing in Maryland, the first Preakness Stakes was run in 1873 at Pimlico Race Course, where it is still held today. The track is also the site of the famed match race in which Seabiscuit triumphed over War Admiral in 1938. The thoroughbread race is an American Grade I stakes race which is run over a distance of one-and-3/16 miles on the dirt track.
The Preakness is commonly referred to "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" because a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans, the state flower of Maryland, is draped over the winning horse.
Past Preakness winners include American Pharoah, ending the 37-year drought in 2015 to become Thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, Alexandra (the first filly to win since 1924), Big Brown, Smarty Jones, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Secretariat and War Admiral.
Upcoming Preakness Stakes
2016 Preakness Stakes will be held May 21. The contenders for this year is American Pharoah (last years winner), Dortmund, Mr.Z, Danzing Moon, Tale of Verve, Bodhisattva, Diving Rod and firing Line.
Preakness Week Events
Sunrise at Old Hilltop Monday - Friday 6am - 9am
See Preakness contenders do their morning workout and have an escorted tour of their stable area.
Preakness Post Position Draw May 18 at 5pm
Preakness post position draw for the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Pre-Preakness Party May 18 7pm - 10pm
"Meet the stars of our sport including jockeys and much more." Enjoy drinks, food and music at the Pre-Preakness party. It's open to all with a free admission.
Preakness Alibi Breakfast May 19 at 9:30am
Join while trainers, jockeys and owners of the Preakness horses give unique insights to racing fans and media about the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown and what it takes to possibly become Thoroughbred racing's next greatest legend.
Jockey Autograph Session May 20 10am - 11am
Black-Eyed Susan Day May 20 9:30am
Watch three-year-old fillies race what has long been recognized as the middle jewel of the traditional filly Triple Crown.
Budweiser Infield Fest May 21 8am
The party begins at the Budweiser Infield Fest with main performers Chainsmokers and Fetty wap.
To find more information about the upcoming Preakness Stakes, its events and tickets, visit the official Preakness Stakes website.