Welcome to Preakness Day. Each year on the third Saturday in May, the second jewel of the Triple Crown is awarded at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. This year, we’ve reached the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes. So here’s what you need to know.
Where is the Preakness Stakes?
Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore plays host to the $1.5 million Preakness.
When is the Preakness?
The exact timing of the race is undetermined, as it is near the end of a 14-race schedule at Pimlico. However, the approximate time horses will go to post is set for 6:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20.
How do I watch the Preakness on TV?
The Preakness undercard will be shown at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Television coverage shifts to NBC at 5 p.m. and will continue through postrace interviews.
How do I watch the Preakness online?
Live streaming of the Preakness will be shown via NBC Sports Live Extra, or you can download the app on the iTunes AppStore, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.
Why does the Preakness Matter?
The Preakness is the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown of horse racing is comprised of the Kentucky Derby, run the first Saturday in May, the Preakness, run the third Saturday of May, and the Belmont Stakes, run three weeks after the Preakness. Only 12 horses have won all three races in a single season, the most recent being American Pharoah in 2015. Before that, you had to go all the way back to Affirmed in 1978.
Where does the name ‘Preakness’ come from?
According to America’s Best Racing, the Preakness is named for the winner of the first race. Originally a two-mile race named the Dinner Party Stakes, the race was the third-ever held on the first day Pimlico was opened in 1870. An unraced horse named “Preakness” surprised everyone with its victory. “In 1873, the Maryland Jockey Club decided to inaugurate a new stakes race to be held in the spring at Pimlico, and the name they chose for the race was the Preakness Stakes, honoring the winner of Pimlico’s first major race,” J. Keeler Johnson wrote.
The name of the track, however, came from England:
The name “Pimlico” was given to the area by English settlers in Colonial times, although the “Pemblicoe” spelling appeared on the original settlement charter in 1669. The colonists were from an area near London and brought with them memories of a famous landmark, Olde Ben Pimlico’s Tavern.
What is the traditional song of the Preakness?
“O Christmas tree, O’” — wait. “Maryland, My Maryland,” the state song, is sung before the Preakness. It’s set to the same tune as “O Christmas Tree,” or the German song “O Tannenbaum.” Only the third verse is sung before the Preakness. Which is probably fortunate when you consider the other shameful pro-Confederate verses attack Abraham Lincoln and call the Union Army “Northern Scum.”
Thou wilt not cower in the dust,Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!
What’s with the Black-Eyed Susans?
“Named the Maryland state flower in 1918, the sunny, open-faced flower is characterized by its charm and symbolism. It shares the same colors as the state flag of Maryland. It also has 13 petals — the same number of original American colonies, of which Maryland was a part.” — Proflowers.com
As roses are to the Kentucky Derby, Black-Eyed Susans are to the Preakness. The state flower of Maryland lends itself to both the name of Friday’s race for the 3-year-old fillies as well as to the blanket of flowers that is draped over the winning horse of the Preakness itself. Traditionally, the flower does not come out until the month of June, however, so you may actually be looking at hand-painted daisies.
What’s the official drink of the Preakness?
Not coincidentally, the official drink is also the Black-Eyed Susan. The (slightly sponsored) recipe is below, though you could probably change it to your preferences just fine.
The Washington Post, however, provides an alternate recipe for the Black-Eyed Susan.
Who is 2017’s Preakness favorite?
Always Dreaming became the favorite to win the Preakness about the moment he won the Kentucky Derby. He became the official favorite on Wednesday when the morning line odds were announced following the post-position draw. He was given 4/5 odds.
How many Kentucky Derby winners also won the Preakness?
There have been 35 horses to win both races in the Triple Crown era. Twelve of those horses went on to win the Belmont to secure the feat, but 23 horses won the first two jewels of the crown without being able to add the third. The most recent to win both was American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner.