The Preakness Stakes is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57_kg); fillies 121_lb (55_kg). It is the second leg of the US Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby preceding it and the Belmont Stakes following it. The horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown. The Preakness Stakes has been termed "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" because a blanket of chrysanthemums, decorated to look like Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta, the state flower of Maryland) is traditionally placed around the winner's neck. (Actual Black-eyed Susans are not in season during the Preakness.) The attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Belmont Stakes, the Breeders' Cup and the Kentucky Oaks.
Contributions by Handicapper, Ted Wilkes, and JillandJack.