Attending the Preakness Stakes 2023: History, betting and more on the American thoroughbred race


The famed Preakness Stakes is the second race of the Triple Crown. It is run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the final event of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.

The event commenced in 1873, but has not always taken place in Maryland as it currently does. The Preakness Stakes was originally held in Gravesend, New York, and happened at different times every year. In 1932, the race was scheduled for two weeks after the Kentucky Derby race. 

The track the horses run in the Preakness Stakes is just slightly shorter than the Kentucky Derby track. The length for the Stakes is one and three-sixteenth miles, and the length for the Derby is one and one-quarter mile. 

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The Preakness Stakes takes place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for 1/ST)

Only 12 horses have become Triple Crown winners. The term was coined in 1930 to describe a horse that wins all three of the annual coveted horse races. 

If you are attending the Preakness Stakes, here is some important information to know about the horse race. 

  1. How much does it cost to enter the Preakness Stakes?
  2. When is the Preakness Stakes race?
  3. Where is the Preakness Stakes race held?
  4. Who holds the fastest Preakness Stakes time?
  5. How to bet on the Preakness Stakes?
  6. What is the dress code for the Preakness Stakes?

1. How much does it cost to enter the Preakness Stakes?

A ticket to the Stakes race will vary depending on the year and where the seat is located. 

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Grandstand seating at the Preakness Stakes

Ticket prices for the event vary depending on where your seats are located, but the average ticket falls right around $170. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

On the low end, tickets to the race run about $80, according to SeatGeek, with the average ticket being around $170. 

The tickets on the higher end cost around $500 to $600, according to the ticketing service. 

2. When is the Preakness Stakes race? 

The Preakness Stakes is held on the third Saturday of every May. This lands the race two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.

This is the same day as Armed Forces Day, which pays tribute to those fighting in the U.S. military.

3. Where is the Preakness Stakes race held?

The Preakness Stakes is held at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. 

The Preakness Stakes race course in Baltimore, Maryland

The Preakness Stakes is held the third Saturday of May in Baltimore at the Pimlico Race Course. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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All three Triple Crown races are located at different tracks around the United States. The Kentucky Derby is at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Belmont Stakes are held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

4. Who holds the fastest Preakness Stakes time? 

Secretariat holds the fastest Preakness Stakes time. In fact, the horse holds the records for the fastest time of all three Triple Crown races. 

Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes in 1973 with a time of 1:53. The horse, ridden by Ron Turcotte, still holds the record today. 

5. How to bet on the Preakness Stakes?

There are different bets you can place bets on the Preakness Stakes, as well as different ways to organize your bets.

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Hands holding money

There are lots of different bets you can make for the Preakness Stakes. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

You can choose to make straight bets or exotic bets. Straight bets are when a wager is placed on a single outcome for a single horse. There are also win bets, where the horse must finish first, place bets, where the horse must finish first or second and show bets, where the horse must finish within the top three. 

There are also exotic bets, which are more difficult to win as they are based on multiple outcomes. Because they are theoretically harder to win, the payouts are also higher.

There are exact bets, in which you select the two horses to finish first and second in order. Then there are trifecta bets where three horses are selected to win first, second and third, in exact order. Lastly, there are superfecta bets, where four horses are selected to place first, second, third and forth, again, in the exact sequence. 

You can bet on the horse race in person at the event or at the betting window, as well as at the kiosks at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Here, you can place your bet and also ask the tellers any questions you may have. 

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You can also bet online or through mobile phone apps. Just be sure that you check your state’s betting laws before doing so, as state-by-state laws and regulations widely vary.

6. What is the dress code for the Preakness Stakes?

The dress code at the Preakness Stakes is not as fancy as that of the Kentucky Derby. You can wear casual clothing to the race, but avoid cut-offs or tank tops in the dining areas. 

Typically, men wear suits and women wear dresses. Extravagant hats don’t feature as prominently here as they do at the derby. At the Preakness Stakes, there is more of an emphasis on dresses, although you can still wear a trendy hat if you so choose.



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