The Preakness Stakes is to horse racing the same as the Super Bowl is to football. It has played a valuable role in developing the sport into a worldwide phenomenon. Each year, on the 3rd Sunday in May, thousands of horse racing fans gather at legendary Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland to experience one of sport’s most amazing events. See the 2013 Preakness Stakes Contenders here.
Tradition. Pageantry. Excitement
No 3 words more accurately describe The Preakness Stakes. This tradition-rich Triple Crown event dates back to 1873. For well over a century, millions of bettors have wagered on The Preakness. Fans unable to travel to Baltimore make a point to stop by their nearest track to place a bet on their favorite horse. Even the most casual horse racing fans spend Preakness Sunday glued to their television to yell, scream, and cheer on their picks.
There are few sporting events in the world that can match the pageantry of The Preakness. It’s not just another race. Fans can feel the excitement in the air inside and around Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Sunday. The atmosphere compares to the Daytona 500, a popular rock concert, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.
The excitement begins early in the day on Preakness Sunday. Bettors start to size up the horses, looking for signs of weakness or strength. As the day goes on, fans start to make their way to the nearest teller or online Sportsbook to place their wager. By Post-Time, hundreds of millions of dollars have been wagered on The Preakness.
General Preakness Stakes Betting Information
Anyone over the age of 21 in the United States can place a bet (legal gambling ages differ in some countries). For those unable to make it to Baltimore, there are hundreds of race tracks across the country and online Sportsbooks that will gladly accept your bet. The Preakness is unique in that it is one of the few major sporting events in the United States where fans can legally bet on the event on-site.
Standard horse racing betting options are available for The Preakness (i.e. Win, Place, Show, Trifecta, Exacta, etc.). Odds for the race are easily accessed online, in newspapers, or on the television broadcast (The Preakness is nationally televised each year).
The most common wager is a straight Win bet. If the horse you pick wins the race, you win! Another common Preakness betting favorite among fans is a Trifecta. Millions of dollars are placed on Trifecta’s on Preakness Sunday. The lure of these bets is a bettor can win a lot while investing only a little. To win a Trifecta, the horses you pick must finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (in exact order). If they do, you’ve hit the jackpot.
One of the most popular aspects of Preakness Stakes betting is the high payouts. Since the field is packed with the top race horses in the country, there is rarely a clear-cut favorite. Most horse races have one horse that is far superior to the competition. That decreases the payouts when betting on the favorite(s).
Preakness Stakes History
The first Preakness was held on May 27, 1873. The purse was $2,050 – won by Survivor. Things have changed drastically since 1873. Purses now exceed $1.5 million. Many legendary horses have raced in The Preakness. They include Affirmed (1978 Triple Crown winner), Seattle Slew (1977 Triple Crown winner), and Seabiscuit (1973 Triple Crown winner and inspiration for the popular movie “Seabiscuit”).
The Preakness is the second leg in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It is held the second Sunday of May – 2 weeks following The Kentucky Derby (first leg). Three weeks following The Preakness, The Belmont Stakes cap off the race for the Triple Crown. This schedule has been a tradition since 1932.
The Preakness Stakes attract high rollers, celebrities, casual racing fans, and people from all walks of life. Every year, on Preakness Sunday at Pimlico, fans come to eat, drink, wager, people watch, and cheer on their favorite horse. While the race itself only lasts about 2 minutes, the event lasts an entire day. It truly is an experience every horse racing enthusiast should experience at least once in their lifetime.
To learn more about horse racing and, more specifically, The Preakness Stakes, take a look around our website. We have plenty of free Preakness Stakes betting and horse racing information. You’ll learn a bunch, and maybe one day we’ll see you in the stands (or Winner’s Circle!) at Pimlico.
Good luck at the track!