The Preakness Stakes is the middle jewel in the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, run on the third Saturday in May at Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland. It is run over the unusual distance of 1 mile and 1 1/2 furlongs, the winner earning a flower blanket of yellow Black-Eyed Susans and the coveted Woodlawn Vase - the most expensive trophy in American sports.
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First run in 1873, the Preakness Stakes purse is $1.5million and always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner, as well as many of the US’s premier three-year-old thoroughbreds. It is the feature event across Pimlico’s three-day May meeting and music concert Infield, generating a carnival atmosphere around Baltimore, rockstars and racegoers mingling at the betting windows.
The Preakness Stakes day total horse racing betting handle exceeds $90million, a further $19million bet on the previous day’s Black-Eyed Susan race day, as more than 120,000 ascend the ‘Old Hilltop’
The Preakness Stakes betting attracts more than $55million in bets each year. Preakness Stakes betting markets include the ‘win’, ‘place’, and ‘show’ standard horse racing wagers, and also have these exotic bets:
You can bet on the Preakness Stakes at the racecourse and online, including on betting sites outside the US, with many online horse racing bookmakers offering Preakness Stakes betting markets, such is the international appeal of the Second Jewel.
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The Preakness Stakes betting is dominated by the Kentucky Derby winner and other purse earners, those horses just about always winning the prize. But there can be surprises, like when Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra won in 2009. These betting tips can help:
The Preakness Stakes odds can often throw up a shock, as the nature of the course, and the placement on the calendar makes it notoriously tricky to win. The most recent recipients of the famed carnations have not all been favourites in the Belmont Stakes Odds:
|Year||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Odds / $2 Payout|
|2020||Swiss Skydiver||Robby Albarado||Kenneth McPeek||12/1f / $26.00|
|2019||War of Will||Tyler Gaffalione||Mark E. Casse||6/1f / $14.00|
|2018||Justify||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert||2/5f / $2.80|
|2017||Cloud Computing||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown||134/10 / $28.80|
|2016||Exaggerator||Kent Desormeaux||J. Keith Desormeaux||13/5 / $7.20|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||9/10f / $2.80|
|2014||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||1/2f / $4.50|
|2013||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||154/10 / $32.80|
The Preakness Stakes is run over 1 mile 1 1/2 furlongs on the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in the US state of Maryland. The track is 1 mile oval with a rise on the infield that gives the racetrack it’s nickname, ‘Old Hilltop’. It opened in fall, 1870, with the colt Preakness winning the first running of the Dinner Party Sakes. Three years later that colt was honoured with the inauguration of the Preakness Stakes in 1873.
As well as the Preakness Stakes, Pimlico is famous as the venue at which the incredible match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral took place on November 1, 1938. A crowd of 43,000 watched on as 1937 US Triple Crown hero War Admiral was defeated by plucky Seabiscuit in the Pimlico Special, run over the same distance as the Preakness.
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The Preakness Stakes field is limited to 14 runners, but there can often be more than 300 horses nominated for the race. In order to take part in the Preakness Stakes, horses must first be entered at a cost of $15,000 to pass the entry box, and $15,000 to start the race. If more than 14 horses pay to start, the final line up will be decided by prize money already won.
The first seven places are filled by horses accumulating the highest earnings in Graded races. The next four places go to horses accumulating the highest earnings in stakes races whose conditions contain no restrictions other than age or sex. The final three places are given to horses with the highest total earnings in all races.
In addition, no horse finishing in the first five in the Kentucky Derby shall be denied a place in the Preakness Stakes - or in the third Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes. There are also two ‘also-eligible horses’, or reserves chosen - they become a starter should any of the first 14 be scratched before the scratch deadline.
"Diarmuid is a published horse racing journalist and creator of the #racehour twitter community which produces a weekly podcast and a home for all things horse racing throughout the flat and jumps season across the UK and Ireland."