The Preakness Stakes is one of the most prestigious annual racing events in America. It is the shortest of the Triple Crown races, with the second most attendance in North America. Great upsets, close finishes, and memorable victories, the Preakness Stakes has provided some of the most legendary moments.
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The rivalry between Affirmed and Alydar
In American horse racing, you won’t find a better rivalry than the one between Affirmed and Alydar. Both great horses dueled a record 10 times with each other, with Affirmed winning 7 times.
In the 1978 Kentucky Derby, many regarded Alydar as the favorite but Affirmed claimed that race by 1.5 lengths. Two weeks later, the two squared off in the Preakness Stakes and gave a great sporting spectacle to the fans.
Affirmed was leading the race around the half-mile mark, but Alydar wasn’t far as well. The difference between the two horses remained only half a length at the top of the stretch. Alydar further reduced that gap over the final furlong, however, Affirmed managed to prevail by a neck in the end.
Later in that year’s Belmont Stakes, Alydar once again gave a great fight, still, the eventual victory came to Affirmed. This way, Affirmed became the 11th American Triple Crown winner.
Secretariat shocked the world
Secretariat’s horse racing career is full of great victories and one of them came at the 1973 Preakness Stakes. After winning the Kentucky Derby in record time, he headed to the Preakness Stakes and asserted the same dominance there.
Secretariat pulled off another incredible feat by winning the race in a time of 1:53.00, a record which is still standing to this day. The great horse would go on to win the Belmont Stakes by an unbelievable 31 lengths. With this win, he became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
1989 Preakness Stakes
The 1989 Preakness Stakes saw one of the most thrilling contests in the history of the race. Sunday Silence and Easy Goer gave such a sporting display that fans wouldn’t forget for years. Both great horses first squared off in the 1989 Kentucky Derby where Sunday Silence prevailed against Easy Goer by 2.5 lengths.
They were to duel again in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, but Sunday Silence was nearly ruled out of the race due to a bruise. However, he recovered in time to face his arch-rival once again at the Pimlico Race Course Baltimore.
Houston got the early lead, but soon the two rivals made the race about themselves by pulling away from the rest. Over the final furlongs, both horses were almost level with neither ready to give even an inch. At the very end, Easy Goer lited his head up slightly and this resulted in a win for Sunday Silence by a nose.