Since the beginning, this race has been taking place at the world renowned Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The venue is located on 5201 Park Heights Avenue and was opened for the public in 1870. Pimlico Race Course also holds other races like Pimlico Special, Dixie Stakes and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the famous US Triple Crown race series. It is preceded by Kentucky Derby and followed by Belmont Stakes. The popularity of Preakness Stakes can be judged by the fact that in North America it is the second race event in terms of attendance after Kentucky Derby. The purse money for this year’s race is $1.5 million.
Preakness Stakes race strictly features thoroughbred horses that are not more than three years old. The race track is dirt, left-handed and over a mile long. The horse breeds usually used for this race are Colt/Gelding and Filly. The average weight of Gelding should not be more than 126 lbs, whereas Filly weight should not exceed 121 lbs. Since 1873, a long list of famous horses and jockeys have won this race. The first ever race in 1873 was won by George Barbee and the horse’s name was Survivor. Barbee again won this race in 1876 and this time the horse was Shirley. Fred Taral won Preakness Stakes in a row in 1894 and 1895. During these races he rode Assignee and Belmar respectively. Between 1941 and 1957 Eddie Arcaro was one jockey who made history by winning this race six times.
In the last five years this race has been won by Martin Garcia (2010), Jesus Castanon (2011), Mario Gutierrez (2012) and Gary Stevens (2013). Oxbow horse is the winner of the 2013 race. Some of the horses that have won the Triple Crown are Count Fleet, Assault, Omaha, Gallant Fox and War Admiral. Jockeys George Barbee, Lloyd Hughes and Gary Stevens have won this race three times each.
R. Wyndham Walden is often referred to as the most successful trainer in thoroughbred horse racing. The horses trained by him won the Preakness Stakes race seven times. Calumet Farm is a horse breeding farm known for producing some winner horses for Preakness Stakes. Calumet Farm bred horses have won this race on seven occasions making it the leading breeder. In 2013 winner Oxbow was also bred by this farm.
Stakes are always high when it comes to the Preakness Stakes racing event. Some of the country’s best jockeys will be fighting to win the race. Gary Stevens is a famous jockey who has won this competition thrice and he is also the 2013 champion. Race lovers should not miss this mega event so make your bookings of Preakness Stakes tickets in advance.