The 2021 Preakness Stakes by the numbers
The Preakness S. (G1) is only a few days away, and although the lead-up to the race has been surrounded by controversy, the Maryland tradition since 1873 will not be derailed.
The second leg of the Triple Crown is still up for grabs at Pimlico, so let's dive into some numbers, stats, and facts about the "Run for the Black-Eyed Susans."
The number of jockeys in this year's 10-horse field who have won the Preakness. Javier Castellano, who will ride Crowded Trade, and Mike Smith, who is named on Concert Tour, both have two wins in the race. Smith won most recently in 2018 aboard Justify, and also scored in 1993 with Prairie Bayou. Castellano won in 2006 with Bernardini, and in 2017 with Cloud Computing.
The distance, in miles, of the Preakness. It's been that way since 1925, but was previously run at a variety of distances — 1 1/2 miles (1873-1888, 1890), 1 1/4 miles (1889), 1 1/16 miles (1894-1900, 1908), 1 mile and 70 yards (1901-1907), 1 mile (1909-1910), and 1 1/8 miles (1911-1924).
The fastest finishing time in Preakness history, set by Secretariat in 1973. The 2020 Preakness winner, Swiss Skydiver, is the horse closest to "Big Red." She ran the distance in 1:53.28, but that came in October, instead of May, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three-year-old horses often develop as the year progresses, so it stands to reason that she likely would have run slower in May.
Fillies who have won the Preakness. Swiss Skydiver was the most recent, but she was preceded by Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906), and Flocarline (1903). Fifty-five fillies have competed in the Preakness.
Horses who have won the Preakness by the smallest margin — a nose. Sunday Silence (1986) was the last to win by such a tight finish, but recently, Cloud Computing (2017) and Curlin (2007) won by just a head, and Swiss Skydiver won by a neck.
The record for most Preakness wins by a trainer, which is shared by Robert Wyndham Walden and Bob Baffert. Walden won five straight from 1878-1882. Baffert's most recent winners, American Pharoah and Justify, went on to win the Triple Crown. Baffert would surpass Walden if he wins with Medina Spirit or Concert Tour this year.
The widest winning Preakness margin, in lengths, set by Smarty Jones in 2004. He bested the previous record holder, Survivor, who won by 10 lengths in 1873. Funny Cide wasn't far behind in 2003, when he won by 9 1/2 lengths.
The record for most Preakness starters by an owner, which stands at a tie between Greentree Stable and Calumet Farm. Calumet holds the record for most Preakness wins, as well, with eight.
The highest winning price for a Preakness winner, which came from Master Derby in 1975. It pales in comparison to big upsets in Kentucky Derby (G1) history, but we'd still take the $48.80 for a $2 win wager.
Favorites that have won the Preakness. That's exactly half of the 146 winners (one year had split divisions). The shortest-priced winners were Citation (1948) and Spectacular Bid (1979). Both went off at 1-10 odds.
The purse for the Preakness, a far cry from the first purse of $2,050 in 1873. About 60% goes to the winner, about 20% goes to the runner-up, and the remainder is distributed to the rest of the top five finishers. The purse was $1.5 million from 2014-2018.
The estimated value of the Woodlawn Vase, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Preakness. Crafted by Tiffany & Co. in 1860, it is widely considered to be the most valuable trophy in sports.