The Preakness Stakes race is held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Maryland. The Preakness is the second leg of American thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series and almost always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner, some of the other horses that ran in the Derby, and often a few horses that did not start in the Derby. The Preakness is 1 3⁄16 miles, or 9 1⁄2 furlongs, compared to the Kentucky Derby, which is 1 1⁄4 miles / 10 furlongs. It is followed by the third leg, the Belmont Stakes, which is 1 1⁄2 miles / 12 furlongs.
Today, the Preakness is run on the third Saturday in May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. Consequently, the race is run no earlier than May 15, and no later than May 21.
From a gambling perspective, it is awful. The winner of the Kentucky Derby is the heavy favorite each year and the payouts are awful. You really need some bombs to come in to make some money. The Preakness Stakes is limited to 14 horses whereas the Derby is 20. Below is list of the past 16 years of racing. The favorite has won six times with odds of 2-1 or less. Only three times has a winner of 10-1 or more won the race since 2001.
|2016||Exaggerator||5||Kent Desormeaux||J. Keith Desormeaux||1:58:31||3 1/2||3/1|
|2015||American Pharoah||1||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||1:58.46||7||*0.90|
|2014||California Chrome||3||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman||1:54.84||1 1/2||*0.60|
|2013||Oxbow||6||G. Stevens||D.W. Lukas||1:57:54||1 3/4||15|
|2012||I'll Have Another||9||M. Guiterrez||D. O'Neill||1:55.94||1 1/2||3|
|2011||Shackleford||5||J. Castanon||D. Romans||1:56.21||3/4||12|
|2010||Lookin At Lucky||7||M. Garcia||B. Baffert||1:55.47||3/4||2.40|
|2009||Rachel Alexandra||13||C. Borel||S. Asmussen||1:55.05||1||*1.80|
|2008||Big Brown||6||K. Desormeaux||R. Dutrow Jr.||1:54.80||5 1/4||*0.20|
|2007||Curlin||4||R. Albarado||S. Asmussen||1:53.46||hd||3.40|
|2006||Bernardini||8||J. Castellano||T. Albertrani||1:54.65||5 1/2||12.90|
|2005||Afleet Alex||12||J. Rose||T. Ritchey||1:55.04||4 1/2||3.30|
|2004||Smarty Jones||7||S. Elliott||J. Servis||1:55.59||11 1/2||0.70|
|2003||Funny Cide||9||J. Santos||B. Tagg||1:55.61||9 3/4||1.90|
|2002||War Emblem||8||V. Espinoza||B. Baffert||1:56.36||3/4||*2.80|
|2001||Point Given||11||G. Stevens||B. Baffert||1:55.51||2 1/4||*2.30|
The best part about the Preakness Stakes is the infield party. I have never been there, but I heard it is insane. The race has had something of a party atmosphere in the past, especially in the infield, which is general admission. The course had a “bring your own booze” policy until 2009, formerly including kegs of beer but in the 2000s restricted to all the beer cans, a person could carry in a cooler. However, despite crowds in excess of 100,000, the BYOB policy was canceled in 2009 after videos of intoxicated people running along the tops of lines of portable toilets while being pelted by beer cans reached a large audience.
In 2009, with the alcohol ban, race attendance dropped to 77,850 after topping 100,000 for eight consecutive years. In 2010, and the Maryland Jockey Club responded with a new event called “InfieldFest” with performances by musical acts, the “Mug Club”, which included an infield ticket and an unlimited refill beer mug, and a mascot named “Kegasus”.
If you have ever seen the HBO series “The Wire”, you know where Pimlico is located. Do not leave the property or walk around the area.