Preakness

6 Facts You Didn't Know About the Preakness Stakes

Eva Niessner

6 Facts You Didn't Know About the Preakness Stakes

May 18 is the second event of the Triple Crown, the trio of thoroughbred horse races that gets the entire country to tune in -- specifically, it's the date of this year's Preakness Stakes. This is Baltimore's chance to shine, and everyone goes all out for the big event! The winner of the race gets a blanket of bright yellow flowers, and folks from Maryland and beyond gather to drink cocktails and listen to music. But there's plenty of trivia about the race that you may not have known. How many of these facts did you know?

1. The Black Eyed Susans that the winning horse gets...aren't real

They sure look like Black Eyed Susans, but they're actually daisies that have been painted black in the center. Why? The flower that's familiar to Marylanders doesn't bloom locally until midsummer, well after the race is run. 

 

2. The Preakness Stakes is the shortest race of the Triple Crown

It's only 1 and 3/16 miles long, making it the shortest distance for the horses to run. The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles, and the longest race is the Belmont Stakes at 1.5 miles. 

 

3. The winner will receive 2 million dollars

This is up from the previous purse of $1.5 million. That can buy quite a bit, but it's not nearly enough to buy the most expensive racehorse ever sold. That sale was $70 million dollars!

 

4. The race is always held on a Saturday

Specifically, the Preakness will always be on the third Saturday in May. That's been the case for almost 100 years of the race's 151 year history! 

 

5. Only five female horses have won the Preakness Stakes

The first filly to win was named Florcarline, and she won the race back in 1903. The most recent female horse to win was Rachel Alexandra, who took it home in 2009. 2024 could be the next year for a filly to win!

 

6. The race's cocktail is the Black Eyed Susan

Okay, we bet you probably knew this fact! But do you know how to make one? Black Eyed Susan cocktails can be made a few different ways, but they generally involve peach schnapps or orange liqueur, rum or bourbon, orange and pineapple juice. It's perfect for the late spring! 

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