Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.
HAS THE PREAKNESS STAKES EVER BEEN RUN BEFORE THE KENTUCKY DERBY?
The inaugural Preakness Stakes was run in 1873, two years before the first Kentucky Derby was run. In 1932 the official order for the Triple Crown series was set. It would kick off with the Kentucky Derby on the 1st Saturday in May. It would end with the Belmont Stakes five weeks later. Sandwiched in between was the Preakness Stakes. Rumor has it that the term purse money was attributed to the Preakness Stakes. Supposedly a wire was stretched above the track from the judges’ stand on which a “bag of gold coins” was attached. The winning jockey would retrieve the bag or “purse” as payment for winning. The winner, also, receives a blanket of “ Rudbechia hirta, Maryland’s official flower. However, it really isn’t made up of those flowers, “Black Eyed Susans”. Those flowers do not bloom until late July or early June and are not available for the race. So, daisies are painted to look like them. With the Preakness Stakes running on the “1st Saturday in October” this year, maybe the blanket will be made of real Black Eyed Susans. Since 1932 the Preakness Stakes has always been run between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. For the first time in 2020 it will be run following the other two races. However, before the official Triple Crown Series was coined the Preakness Stakes ran 11 time before the Derby. The 1917 and 1922 Preakness Stakes was run on the same day as the Kentucky Derby.