Whether you’re a dedicated fan of horseracing or simply somebody who enjoys a culturally rich sporting spectacle, attending the Preakness Stakes should definitely be on your bucket list.
Preakness Stakes Basics
This middle race of the Triple Crown, held the third Saturday in May, launched back in 1873, and plays out on one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, Pimlico. A bit of trivia: The name “Preakness” honors the American Thoroughbred who won the inaugural race at Pimlico when it opened in 1870; that horse, in turn, was named for “Pra-qua-les” (“Quail Woods”), the traditional American Indian (specifically Minisi) name for the New Jersey region where Preakness’s stables were located.
At 9.5 furlongs (1 3/16 miles), the Preakness is the shortest of the Triple Crown races. The sterling-silver Woodlawn Vase serves as prize, while the winning horse is draped in a blanket of Viking daises meant to resemble Maryland’s state flower, the black-eyed Susan.
(Speaking of black-eyed Susan, that’s also the name for the traditional Preakness Stakes cocktail.)
Race for the Triple Crown
The venerable heritage alone makes the Preakness Stakes an event to remember, but it’s also an especially momentous turning point in the American horseracing year: It’s the race that really determines whether the Kentucky Derby champion has a shot at the prestigious feat of winning the Triple Crown by also triumphing at the Preakness and Belmont.
The Holiday Inn Express: Your Preakness Stakes Hotel
Tap into that annual excitement by attending the next Preakness States—and call the Holiday Inn Express Baltimore at the Stadiums home while you do. Situated less than 10 miles from Pimlico Race Course, the hotel provides affordable accommodations and outstanding amenities to make your horseracing holiday as convenient and comfortable as possible!