Following the Kentucky Derby, the annual Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown. It runs the third Saturday in May at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, and a celebration leads up to the running.
The 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 thoroughbred 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 as "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
The 2017 Preakness Stakes will be held on May 20. The contenders for this year are Always Dreaming, Classic Empire, Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Gunnevera, Hence, Lookin at Lee, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art.
Preakness Week Events
Sunrise at Old Hilltop - Tuesday - Friday, 6 am-9 am
See Preakness contenders do their morning workout and have an escorted tour of their stable area.
Preakness Post Position Draw - Wednesday, 5 pm
Preakness post-position draw for the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Pre-Preakness Party - Wednesday, 7 pm-10 pm
"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 - Thursday, 9:30 am
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.
2017 Crab Derby - Thursday 5 - 8 p.m.
Leading up to Preakness head over to old Lexington Market for thier Crab Derby! Held every year around Preakness.
Jockey Autograph Session - Friday, 10 am - 11 am
Black-Eyed Susan Day - Friday, 9:30 am
Watch three-year-old fillies race what has long been recognized as the middle jewel of the traditional filly Triple Crown.
Budweiser Infield Fest - Saturday, 8 am
To find more information about the upcoming Preakness Stakes, its events and tickets, visit the official Preakness Stakes website.