First, a little history. While the Preakness is the final race of the Triple Crown this year due to COVID safety concerns, it is traditionally the second, held between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont on the third Saturday in May.
It is a significant race, as it determines whether one horse will have a shot at Triple Crown Champion glory in the Belmont. The Preakness is actually older than the Kentucky Derby by two years, having been run for the first time in 1873, and is consistently one of the most-attended races in North America, usually second only to the Kentucky Derby itself. The race gets its name from a colt named Preakness who won the Dinner Party Stakes on Pimlico’s opening day in 1870. While the Kentucky Derby has the nickname of “The Run For the Roses,” the Preakness has the perhaps slightly less elegant moniker of “Run For the Black-Eyed Susans,” reflecting the fact that a blanket of Maryland’s state flower is laid across the shoulders of the winning horse. However, these flowers aren’t true black-eyed susans, but easier-to-find yellow flowers given a little dash of black lacquer to make them look like the real thing. Don’t tell anyone!