PREAKNESS STAKES NOTABLE WINNERS
Any real racing fan has heard of the Preakness Stakes. Despite this few have heard of horses like Survivor who was the first horse to win the Preakness. Few have also heard of Sir Barton, the first horse to win the Triple Crown. Did you know that Flocarline was the first filly to win the race? Neither did I. Lets take a look at the history of the Preakness and some of its most notable winners!
The Preakness Stakes takes place at the storied Pimlico Racecourse on the third Saturday in May every year. For those of you who didn’t know Pimlico is the site of the Seabiscuit vs. Man O’War match race. That race was called the Pimlico Special, but that discussion for another day. Colts carry 126 pounds, while the fillies are given a lighter weight of 121. The distance for the race is 1 3-16. Just as the Kentucky Derby is the “run for the roses” the Preakness is the “run for the black eyed susans”.
Although the Preakness is the second leg of the Triple Crown, it is actually 2 years older than the Derby. The race is named in honor of Preakness, who won the Dinner Party Stakes on Pimlico’s opening day in 1870. The first winner was Survivor, who too the race by 10 lengths. This was the largest margin of victory until Smarty Jones won the race in 2004. Similar to how “My Old Kentucky Home” is played before the Derby,”Maryland, My Maryland” is played prior to the Preakness.
No jockey has won the Preakness more than the legendary Eddie Arcaro. He won the race 6 times, including back-to-back wins in 1950-51. Pat Day has won the race 5 times, and Bill Hartack, George Barbee, and Lloyd Hughes have each won the race 3 times. R. Wyndham Walden who dominated the racing scene as a trainer in the late 19th century holds the record for most wins at 7. Thomas J. Healey and D. Wayne Lukas have each captured the Preakness 5 times. Bob Baffert, Jimmy Jones, and Jimi Fitzsimmons have all won the race 4 times. Tank’s Prospect, Louis Quatorze, and Curlin share the stakes record time of 1:53 2/5.
One of the most notable Preakness Stakes took place in 1973. The winner was, and yes you guessed it right, Secretariat! There was a problem with the clocking and it remains a controversy to this day. Secretariat was clocked in 1:53.40 which would have be the stakes record. However, due to human error the time went to arbitration and Pimlico set the time at 1:54.40, although the Daily Racing From had him a second faster. Big Red would have swept the Triple Crown while breaking all of the stakes records had it not been for this.
Pat Day had a winning streak of 3 in the Preakness from 1994-1996. The first two winners, Tabasco Cat, and Timber Country were D. Wayne Lukas trainees. His last winner in the streak was Louis Quatorze, who equaled the track record. Louis Quatorze was trained by Nick Zito. Tabasco Cat would go on to win the Belmont Stakes. Pat Day had also won the race on Summer Squall and Tank’s Prospect. Two of his winners, Louis Quatorze and Tank’s Prospect share the track record.
Tune in this week to see if the 138th running, the 2013 version of the Preakness, will be one to remember. Also be sure to check Our home page for Our official Preakness Stakes Picks.