With the infamous Kentucky Derby behind us, that means the Preakness is up next! The second leg of the Triple Crown races brings equally exhilarating speed and horsepower that will again have horse racing fans on the edge of their seats this upcoming Saturday. Will “Mystic Dan” win it and make a run for the Triple Crown in the Belmont? Or will early favorite “Muth” take home the Woodlawn Vase Trophy? We’ll leave the studying for another time – today is all about the fun facts behind this race. Read on to brush up on all your Preakness facts.


1. Black Eyed Susans?

Black Eyed Susan is the Official Flower of the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness winner is traditionally adorned with Maryland’s state flower, the Black-Eyed Susan. However, this flower only blooms in the summer and fall. So, instead, the winner is covered with Viking Daisies painted with black lacquer to mimic the look of a Black-Eyed Susan.

2. The Most Valuable Trophy in Sports

The Kentucky Derby has appointed itself “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” but the Preakness claims “The Most Valuable Trophy in Sports” in the Woodlawn Vase Trophy. The silver trophy was created by Tiffany & Co. and has an estimated appraisal value of at least $1 Million. After race day, the trophy remains on display at The Baltimore Museum of Art while the winner goes home with a $30,000 sterling replica.

3. Painting the Weather Vane

In the infield at Pimlico Race Track sits a replica cupola of the Old Clubhouse – originally the place to be on race day until the building was destroyed in 1966. Atop the replica is a horse and jockey weather vane. Each year, once the Preakness winner is officially announced, a painter colors the jockey and horse with the winner’s silks, and they will stay until the next Preakness winner is crowned the following year.


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1. The Start of It All

The first running of the Preakness was held in 1873. Survivor won that day by a dominating 10 lengths. This remains one of the largest margins of victory in the history of the race.

2. The Third Saturday in May, Usually

Typically, the race occurs two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. However, that isn’t always the case. In fact, it was actually held eleven times before the Kentucky Derby in 1931.

3. Why the Preakness?

“Preakness” comes from a colt who won on the track. The former governor of Maryland officially titled the race “The Preakness Stakes.”

Record Performances

1. The Record Time

Secretariat holds the record time in the Preakness and the other two legs of the Triple Crown races. His time of 1:53 has held firm since 1973.

2. Winning Fillies

Six fillies have won the Preakness, the most recent being Swiss Skydiver in 2020. She upset Authentic, the winner of the Kentucky Derby that year.

3. The Elusive Triple Crown

In case you were wondering just how hard it is to capture that Triple Crown title, this stat might give you an idea: since 1990, only 9 Kentucky Derby-winning horses have then won the Preakness. And perhaps even more astonishing, only 4 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont but not the Preakness.

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Learn More

Catch up on more facts about the Triple Crown by reading here to learn about the Kentucky Derby.

The facts of this blog were compiled from The Preakness and BetFirm.