Preakness Stakes – History

The first ever Preakness Stakes was run in 1873, during its first ever Spring Racing meeting. It was run at Pimlico in Maryland and the name of the race was the brainchild of the former Maryland Governor, Oden Bowie. Preakness was a horse who had won the feature race, the Dinner Party Stakes, at the first ever meeting at Pimlico Racecourse in 1870.

The first race won by a horse called Survivor who romped home by 10 lengths, which, until Smarty Jones won 2004 had been the widest margin of victory ever. Smarty Jones is one of many great horses who can be seen the Preakness Stakes past winners. His victory in 2004 is also one of the facts that can be read in the Preakness Stakes records page.

Due to financial difficulties in 1890 the race was moved form Pimlico to Moms Park racecourse in New York and was subsequently moved again in 1894 to Gravesend Park also in New York. It was held at Gravesend Park until 1908.

As the quality of the race improved, the Preakness was officially named the second leg of the prestigious Triple Crown and each year it is run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the third leg, the Belmont Stakes.


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