Preakness Stakes Facts 2018
There is a lot written every year about the Preakness Stakes here. We are kind of obsessed with it. Yet there are still lots of questions that people have. And we like to answer people's questions. So, we have rounded up a bunch of those questions, provided some answers, sprinkled in some Preakness facts, and hopefully made us all wiser in the process:
When, where and what time is the Preakness Stakes?: The 2018 Preakness takes place on Saturday, May 19, at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland. The post time for the race is set to be 6:20 p.m. ET. There are many good races on the Preakness undercard, though, so don't just tune in for the big race.
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Minimum trifecta bet on the Preakness?: The trifecta is an attractive in-race bet for people looking for the potential of a big payoff but with manageable cost and risk. You have to pick the top three finishers in the race, and you have to pick them in the correct order. Typically when betting this bet people will bet several different combinations of horses. At the Preakness, as at the Kentucky Derby, the minimum bet you can make per combination is 50 cents.
Biggest Preakness bet: It's impossible to know what the biggest bet on the Preakness has ever been. Tracks don't talk about individual bets, and many big bettors have no interest in advertising their success or tactics. You can be sure, though, that many big bets have been made on the race, and that seven-figure scores have been made on bets involving the Preakness.
Amount of money bet on the Preakness annually: Last year's handle of $97,168,658 on the Preakness day card set a new record, beating the previous record by 3 percent. The track also broke an attendance record last year, with 140,327.
Preakness wagering options: For the most part, the options for the Preakness are pretty much the same as any other race. You can bet a horse to win, place or show. That means you are betting on a horse to win, finish first or second, or finish first, second or third, respectively. Obviously, the win bet will pay more than the show bet if you are correct. You can bet the exacta, which is picking the top two finishers in the correct order. Or you can bet the quinella, which is the top two horses in any order. The trifecta is betting the top three in the right order, and the superfecta is the top four in the right order. If you are really feeling aggressive you can bet the Super High Five, which is the top five in the right order. It is very tough to hit in this race, but it usually pays very well - last year a $1 bet paid more than $283,000. You can also bet the Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 or Pick 6, which combines picking the winner in the Derby with the winner of 1,2,3,4 or 5 prior races. Obviously, the more races you involve, the higher the price. One popular combination bet is the Black Eyed Susan-Preakness double, which involves picking winners of both the Preakness and the Black Eyed Susan, the highlight race of the Friday card.
How many horses run in the Preakness?: This is one of many differences between the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby. The Derby has 20 spots in the starting gate, and most years recently it has filled them all. That is bigger than every other race in North America, though. The Preakness limits itself to 14 starters, which is more typical for major races, and typically falls well short of that maximum.
How old are the horses in the Preakness?: Horses can run in Triple Crown races only when they are three-years-old. All thoroughbreds have a birthday on Jan. 1 regardless of when they were actually born to keep thing simpler. That Jan. 1 birth date is why it is almost impossible to get into a thoroughbred stable for the last week or two of December - if a horse happens to be born in late December that will be hidden until early January, or else the horse would turn one year old when it was really just days old.
What horse has the fastest Preakness time?: Secretariat holds the record of 1:53, but he has actually only held the record since 2012. He was originally clocked in 1:54.2, which was just slower that Canonero II had run the race. But that time was controversial, and in 2012 the Maryland Jockey Club changed it to the current record, giving Secretariat track records in all three Triple Crown races that still stand to this day.
How many Triple Crown winners in history?: There have been 12 winners of the Triple Crown, with the first coming in 1919, and the last nearly 100 years later in 2015.
Last horse to win the Triple Crown?: After Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978 we came close many times, but it seemed like we might never have a winner again. But then American Pharoah broke the streak in spectacular fashion in 2015. And now Bob Baffert looks like he could have a shot at his second Triple Crown winner with Justify. Of note, Baffert has won the Preakness with each of his previous four Kentucky Derby winners.
Triple Crown Winners List: 1919 - Sir Barton, 1930 - Gallant Fox, 1935 - Omaha, 1937 - War Admiral, 1941 - Whirlaway, 1943 - Count Fleet, 1946 - Assault, 1948 - Citation, 1973 - Secretariat, 1977 - Seattle Slew, 1978 - Affirmed, 2015 - American Pharoah.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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