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Key Moments in History of the Preakness Stakes

Since the first Preakness Stakes horse racing games took place in 1873, they have been a huge part of American culture. Sandwiched between the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, it is also part of the American Triple Crown. It was only in 2004 when horse Smarty Jones beat the all-time length record with 11 ½ lengths. Smarty Jones was the first winner of the Derby to go unbeaten since Seattle Slew and his spectacular performance brought in the largest crowds New York had ever seen. The previous record held from the first year was by Survivor, and it had been 10 lengths.

One of the most important pieces of information about the Preakness Stakes is that it is a Grade 1 event. It is the second most attended event of the entire year and takes place in Baltimore, Maryland. The dirt track is 9.5 furlongs and all of the finishing animals from the Kentucky Derby normally take part. Betting does not have to take place in person, however. You can bet at a website like to win just as big.

Although many animals have completed two tiers in the challenge, there has not been a winner of the entire Triple Crown since 1978 when Affirmed finished all three. In all three of these events, Affirmed managed to beat Alydar, his fierce competition. Although he beat Alydar by a solid length and a half during the Kentucky Derby, in later events the margin was much narrower, with his final win barely squeezing by a node. Another top contender, I'll Have Another, came very close to winning the honor in 2012, but he suffered an unfortunate injury only a day before the event and was subsequently forced to withdraw.

A film was made based on the indomitable animal known as Secretariat. His running time, 1:53, remains an incredible record of the fastest time of the Preakness in history. Secretariat's victory was won by 2 ½ lengths despite his leaving the gate in last place to begin the event. Secretariat enjoyed another victory in the Belmont Stakes, in which he set yet another record with a 31-length win. Like Secretariat, the jockey with the highest winning track record, Eddie Arcaro, has much to brag about with six wins altogether in 1941, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1955, and 1957.

When learning about the Preakness Stakes or even racing in general, it is also important to note several other successful jockeys as well as trainers. Pad Day is famous for winning five races in 1985, 1990, 1994, 1995, and 1996. R. Wyndham Walden has the record for the most wins for a trainer with seven in 1875, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, and 1888. Behind him trail two trainers with a tie for five wins each, D. Wayne Lucas in 1980, 1985, 1994, 1995, and 1999 and Bob Baffert in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2010.

Placing wagers on the Preakness Stakes begins immediately following the Kentucky Derby when the horses have just proven their abilities is traditional. Sites like offer betting tips, insider predictions, and more helpful information about the Preakness Stakes for making wagers on horse racing during the season. Betting prices go up right away, enabling sports fans to make their wagers from the Kentucky Derby all the way up until the Preakness occurs. Keep in mind that while most animals that enter the Preakness are veterans of the Kentucky Derby, newcomers are also allowed. These wild cards are usually those who proved themselves in other recent events or who were simply not able to participate in the Derby for some reason or another.