PREAKNESS - May 19th 2012
The 137th Preakness Stakes, the second leg in the Triple Crown series, will be held this Saturday, May 19th at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Preakness, drawing more people than any other sporting event in Maryland, set a record in 2007 when 121,263 people attended and more than $87.2 million was placed in bets. The first Preakness was held at Pimlico in 1873 however, the Preakness Stakes has not always been held in Maryland.
In 1890, Preakness was hosted by Morris Park Racecourse in the Bronx, New York, after which there was no race run for three years. Next, for 15 years from 1894 to 1908 the race was held at Gravesend Race Track on Coney Island, New York before finally returning to Pimlico in 1909.
The first Preakness winner was Kentucky born, American Thoroughbred racehorse, Survivor. Ridden by jockey George Barbee, Survivor won the $2,050 winning purse by galloping home easily by 10 lengths. This was the largest margin of victory until 2004, when Smarty Jones won by 11 1/2 lengths. This year’s purse towers over its 1873 counterpart at $1,000,000.
Preakness, also known as “The Run for the Black-Eyes Susans” since a blanket of the state flower is usually places around the winner’s neck, is truly a time for Fellowship among Marylanders. Just after the horses for the Preakness are called to the post, the audience is invited to sing Maryland’s official state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.” Traditionally, the song was led by the Baltimore Colts’ Marching Band from the infield but today The United States Naval Academy Glee Club leads the song.
It’s not just horses that draw the crowds to the Preakness festivities. Infieldfest, a day of music, activities, food and drinks begins Saturday morning before The Preakness Stakes. I hope you like beer for breakfast because the first band is scheduled to begin at 8:20 am!
Although Parking for Preakness is now SOLD OUT, no worries because Parking Panda has you covered. We have spaces available just a few short blocks away at Pimlico Elementary School. For only $25 you can get all day parking. Check out our Preakness Parking page and reserve your space now!