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Preakness Central


The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of the Triple Crown and held every year two weeks after the Kentucky Derby at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. While it does not have as much prestige as the Derby, with a purse of $1 million guaranteed it is still a juicy prize for any horseman. Like the Derby, only 3-year-old thoroughbreds can run in the Preakness, so each only has one chance at it in his lifetime.

2014 Preakness Entries

The Preakness starting gate
© Terence Dulay

Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome will move on to the Preakness, but only two other Derby horses are planning to go to the Preakness. Several new horses are joining the fray along with a few who didn't make it into the Derby and maybe even a filly!

The Triple Crown Trail

Big Brown wins the Preakness
© Cindy Pierson Dulay

Every spring the 3-year-old thoroughbreds start their campaigns hoping to make it to one of the Triple Crown races. Racing fans watch and wonder which prep race will yield the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont winner as the horses compete on the Triple Crown trail at race tracks from coast-to-coast. Just remember, for the Preakness the Kentucky Derby is a critical prep and very few win the race who didn't run in the Derby no matter where they finished in it.


Handicappers at the Preakness
© Cindy Pierson Dulay

The Preakness is not given quite as much scrutiny, since there are usually some standouts by then. Many people want to favor front running speed horses based on the theory that the turns are sharper at Pimlico and the fact the race is shorter. The Preakness is 1 3/16 miles which is still longer than most races, and the turns have been measured and that is just a myth. Another popular angle is bet the local horse for 2nd or 3rd, which often does work.

Preakness History

The old clubhouse cupola which is the Preakness winner's circle
© Cindy Pierson Dulay
The Preakness Stakes was first run in 1873 and will have its 134th running this year. Many of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time have won the Preakness and it is one of the big races all horsemen dream of winning. Find out more about the rich history of the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Preakness 101

Pimlico Grandstand
© Cindy Pierson Dulay
An overview of the Preakness from history to handicapping to how to attend. Perfect for beginners who want to start their education in all things Preakness.


An honor guard carries the Woodlawn Vase to the winner's circle.
© Cindy Pierson Dulay
The Preakness is not quite as steeped in tradition as the Derby, but still with such a long history it has it's own mystique. The traditional flower of the Preakness is the Black-Eyed Susan, hence their black and yellow color scheme, and the $1 million Woodlawn Vase is the permanent trophy of the race. Here is a look at some of the more well known Preakness traditions.

California Chrome wins the 2014 Preakness Stakes

horse racing Preakness
© Cindy Pierson Dulay
California Chrome won over late closing Ride On Curlin and Social Inclusion. Can he now become the 12th Triple Crown winner?


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