|Preakness Stakes Tidbits & Trivia|
|From The Sports Network|
|PURE SPEED: There have been 27 winning horses who have led every step of the way, the last being Rachel Alexander in 2009.|
LONGSHOTS: The longest-priced Preakness winner was Master Derby, who paid $48.80 in 1975.
JOCKEYS: Legendary jockey Eddie Arcaro has the most Preakness Stakes victories with six, the last coming in 1957 aboard Bold Ruler. Pat Day is second with five, the last being Louis Quatorze. Day is the only jockey to win three straight Preakness' (1994, Tabasco Cat, 1995, Timber Country; 1996, Louis Quatorze). Day has the most Preakness day rides with 17, followed by Eddie Arcaro at 16. Gary Stevens and Jerry Bailey each have 15.
ODDS-ON FAVORITES: 19 of the 25 odds-on favorites have won the Preakness; the last four being Rachel Alexandra (2009), Big Brown (2008), Smarty Jones (2004) and Spectacular Bid (1979).
CHECK WITH THE WEATHERMAN: The last two Preakness Stakes run on sloppy tracks produced upsets. Deputed Testimony, paid $31.00 in 1983 as Derby winner Sunny's Halo ran sixth. In 1972, Derby winner Riva Ridge was fourth to Bee Bee Bee, who returned $39.40.
WEIGHTY ISSUES: While contestants in the Preakness (and the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes) now carry 126 pounds, it was not always so. In 1910, Layminster carried 84 pounds to victory, getting a 31-pound allowance from favored Martinez and between 14 and 34 pounds from the rest of the field. It was the least weight any Preakness entrant has ever carried.
MARGINAL MATTERS: In 2004, Smarty Jones took the lead at the top of the stretch and crushed the field en route to a 11 1/2 length victory in the 129th Preakness. The 2nd easiest victory was in 1873, when an 11-1 shot named Survivor romped to a 10-length victory in the first Preakness ever. The tightest finishes were nose victories by Old England (1902), Victorian (1928), High Quest (1934), Bold Venture (1936), Greek Money (1962) and Sunday Silence(1989).
THE SMALL AND LARGE: The smallest fields ever to start were the two horses who went to the post in 1883, 1884 and 1889. The largest field was 18 in 1928.
A LAMENTABLE RECORD: Dancer's Image, who was disqualified in the 1968 Kentucky Derby after post-race testing turned up traces of a banned medication, was also disqualified (from third to eighth) in the Preakness after a bumping incident. He remains the only horse to be set down in two Triple Crown races.
EVEN A PROGRAM WOULDN'T HELP: There have been two unnamed horses to run in the Preakness. In 1874, a horse listed as "bay colt" ran fourth while in 1888, a horse listed as "Bertha B. colt" (later Judge Murray) was second.
A FEMALES' RACE: 53 fillies have contested the Preakness, the last being eventual winner Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Kentucky Derby winners Genuine Risk (1980) was the 50th and Winning Colors (1988) was 51st, followed by Excellent Meeting in 1999 at 52. Five fillies have won Preakness: Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906) and Flocarline (1903).
STOPPED BY THE PREAKNESS: Ten horses have won the Derby and Belmont. The Triple Crown hopes of Zev (1923), Twenty Grand (1931), Johnstown (1939), Shut Out (1942), Middleground (1950), Needles (1956), Chateaugay (1963), Riva Ridge (1972), Bold Forbes (1976) and Swale (1984) all were ended by the Preakness.
HOW FAR YOU GOIN'?: The Preakness has been run at seven different distances. Starting at 1 1/2 miles (1873-1888) at Pimlico, the race was shortened to 1 1/4 miles in 1889 but was once again run at 1 1/2 miles in 1890 when it was held as a handicap for horses three-years-old and up at Morris Park in The Bronx, N.Y. No three-year-olds started that year. The Preakness then took a three-year absence between 1891 and 1893. When the race resumed in 1894, it was still in New York, this time at the Brooklyn Jockey Club's Gravesend Course and the field was asked to go 1 1/16 miles. But that didn't last for long; from 1901-1907 the race was shortened to 1 mile and 70 yards. Returning to Pimlico in 1908, the distance was lengthened to 1 1/16 miles, then it was down to one mile for the 1909 and 1910 runnings, up to 1 1/8 miles from 1911-1924 and finally, in 1925, the current distance of 1 3/16 miles was instituted.
WHO'S GOT THE TROPHY?: The Woodlawn Vase, the priceless Preakness Stakes trophy, has a remarkable history. First raced for in 1861 (the first Preakness was in 1873), it became the perpetual Preakness Stakes trophy in 1917 when won by Kalitan on the same day, May 12, 1917, that Omar Khayyam became the first foreign-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby. A strong rumor still persists that it spent the Civil War years buried to prevent its capture by Union soldiers and marauding Confederates, a practice commonly used by Southerners of that era to protect their valuables.