This weekend is the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Many race fans are hoping I’ll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby, keeps the possibility of a Triple Crown winner alive by repeating his Derby win in the Preakness. While I’ll Have Another was not favored in the Kentucky Derby – in fact, he is the only horse to ever win the Derby from the 19th post position – no doubt he’ll be among the favorites with bettors this Saturday.
As we look forward to race day, here are five fun pieces of Preakness trivia.
- The first Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton, in 1919. He swept the Derby, captured the Preakness title four days later and set a new record at the Belmont. However, the term “Triple Crown” wasn’t used until the 1930s.
- The Woodlawn Vase, designed in 1860 by Tiffany and Company, was once buried underground. The vase was buried on the Woodlawn estate shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War. Weighing 29 pounds, 12 ounces and made of pure silver, the vase likely would have been melted down for shot during the war, had it been discovered. The owner of the Preakness winner is given a replica of the Woodlawn Vase; the original is often referred to as the most valuable trophy in American sports and is on display at The Baltimore Museum of Art.
- The Preakness has never occurred on a Sunday. The race has officially been on a Saturday since 1931, but prior to this, the race has occurred on every day of the week except for Sunday.
- The tradition of painting the weathervane in the winning jockey’s colors began in 1909. It was in this year that the Maryland Jockey Club commissioned an ornamental weathervane, after the clubhouse’s original weather vane was destroyed by lightning. To celebrate the completion of the horse-and-rider weathervane, the jockey’s silks were painted in the colors of the winner, Effendi.
- If you look to place bets by coat color, place your bets on the bay horses. More than half the Preakness winners (71 of 136) have been bays. Chestnut follows, with 44 Preakness wins.
What colors do you think we will see on the weathervane this year? Who’s your favorite contender in this year’s Preakness?
To learn more about the Preakness Stakes, visit the official race website.