141 Years of Preakness Stakes History
Pimlico Race Course's Preakness Stakes is named after the bay colt who won the racetrack's inaugural Dinner Party Stakes (now the Dixie Stakes) in 1870. The Preakness Stakes was inaugurated three years later, in 1873, two years before the Kentucky Derby, and has been a high-stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses since its inauguration. Beginning in 1890, the Preakness was held at racetracks in New York. Several Preakness traditions, such as the musical rendering of Maryland's state song, are attributed to the 1909 Preakness, when the race returned to Pimlico after nearly two decades away, and has been held there every year since. 1940 Preakness winner Bimelech was the first horse to wear the blanket of Black-Eyed Susan flowers.