History of the Preakness Stakes race and predictions for 2024

February 13, 2024

The Preakness Stakes, a cornerstone of American thoroughbred horse racing, has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. The inception of the Preakness Stakes traces back to 1873 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Named after the colt Preakness, who triumphed in the Dinner Party Stakes at the track’s opening in 1870, the race was established as a premier event for three-year-old thoroughbreds. Since its early days, The Preakness has been a platform showcasing the speed and endurance of some of the finest horses in the nation​​.

The journey of the Preakness Stakes through history is marked by periods of relocation and hiatus. Initially held at Pimlico, the event was temporarily moved to Morris Park in Westchester County, New York, in 1890.

After a brief pause, the race resumed in 1894 at the Gravesend track in Brooklyn, New York, only to return to its Maryland roots at Pimlico in 1909, which has remained ever since. These relocations underscore the resilience and enduring appeal of the Preakness amidst the changing landscapes of American horse racing​​.

Traditions and Pageantry

The Preakness Stakes is steeped in traditions that have become synonymous with the race. One of the most iconic rituals is the painting of the weathervane with the winner’s colors, a tradition that began in 1909.

Additionally, the victor’s draping in a blanket of yellow flowers mimicked the black-eyed Susan, Maryland’s state flower, dubbed the Preakness the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans. These customs celebrate the victors and contribute to the race’s identity and charm​​.

National Treasure, Preakness and Pegasus World Cup winner, Ernie Belmonte, Past the Wire
National Treasure, Preakness and Pegasus World Cup winner, Ernie Belmonte, Past the Wire

Evolution of the Race

Over the years, the Preakness Stakes has evolved regarding its placement within the Triple Crown series, distance, and traditions. From initially being run before the Kentucky Derby to finding its place as the second jewel in the Triple Crown, the race has adapted and thrived. The adjustments in distance over the years, settling at 1 3/16 miles since 1925, have shaped the competitive nature of the event. These changes reflect the race’s ability to grow and adapt while maintaining its core identity​​.

Looking Ahead: The 2024 Preakness Stakes

As we edge closer to the 149th edition of the Preakness Stakes, the anticipation builds around what promises to be another exciting chapter in the storied history of this prestigious race. Set against the backdrop of the iconic Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, the event will unfold on Saturday, May 18, 2024, drawing attention from horse racing enthusiasts around the globe. With a purse of $1.5 million on the line, the competition is expected to be fierce, showcasing the talents of some of the finest three-year-old thoroughbreds in the industry.

Recent Champions and Their Legacy

Reflecting on the recent victors of the Preakness Stakes offers insight into the race’s competitive nature and the high caliber of participants it attracts. National Treasure’s triumph in 2023 and Early Voting’s win in 2022 underscore the diversity of talent and the unpredictability that define this middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

Analyzing the Odds for 2024

The 2024 Preakness Stakes is shaping to be an event brimming with anticipation and competitive spirit, thanks to a field rich in talent and potential. Sportsbooks are already offering odds on this prestigious race, highlighting its open nature and the excitement it generates among fans and bettors alike.

With odds of +175, Mage emerges as the frontrunner, indicating strong confidence in its performance. Close behind, First Mission is listed at +225, suggesting a neck-and-neck race awaits. Two Phil’s, at +400, is seen as a formidable competitor with the potential to deliver surprises.

Sportsbooks provide various bonus offers to enhance the betting experience, including the FanDuel promo code, which stands out. This promotional offer is designed to attract new users and reward existing ones, offering an added incentive to participate in the excitement of the Preakness Stakes.

Defending champion National Treasure is listed at +650, indicating that while it faces stiff competition, it cannot be discounted from repeating its previous success. Disarm and Blazing Sevens, both at +1000, offer intriguing value and can upset the favorites. With odds of +1200, Red Route One rounds out the list as a dark horse, embodying the unpredictable spirit that makes the Preakness Stakes such a captivating event.


The Preakness Stakes, a cornerstone of American thoroughbred horse racing since 1873, embodies the spirit and tradition of the sport. Its journey from inception to becoming the second jewel of the Triple Crown reflects its adaptability and significance in horse racing history.

The race’s unique traditions, such as the painting of the weathervane and the victor’s floral draping, contribute to its identity and charm. Looking forward to the 149th edition in 2024, the Preakness promises excitement with a competitive field, highlighting the race’s blend of heritage and thrilling competition. As we anticipate another chapter in this storied event, the Preakness Stakes continues to symbolize excellence and a highlight of the horse racing calendar.

@jonathanstettin I for one can still actually feel the pall cast over the crowd and game that day. It was palpable. Kudos 2/2

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