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Most Celebrated Moments in the Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes is the second race of the Triple Crown Series following the Kentucky Derby and preceding Belmont Stakes. It's also the shortest horse race in the series, making it more thrilling to watch.   Ultimately, it's no wonder it always gains an impressive viewership rating. The Preakness Stakes can speak of who's most likely to win the Triple Crown Series since it's the second race. The horse who will win the Stakes has the best edge in the final race.

7 Greatest Moments You Might Have Missed in Preakness Stakes

Here’s the list of the most unforgettable moments in the Preakness Stakes that have made the event sensational and satisfying for its spectators.

Blue-Collar Hero (1971)

Canonero II or Gunner II, when translated in English, is also known as the "Blue-Collared Hero.” He made his name in the 1971 Preakness Stakes with his fairytale-like success in the event. His win is one of the most surprising victories in the history of Preakness Stakes.   The champion debuted in Venezuela and competed in many races there. In 1971, the Preakness Stakes was mocked because no famous horse had made it to the roster. Canonero II was running in 18th place with Gustavo Ávila, his jockey, maxed out in the race.   He seemed off the pace at first, but he galloped persistently and eventually became the front runner of the race. Many spectators claimed it was luck but were later amazed by the incredible speed he has shown.   Five horses from the Kentucky Derby comprised the eleven horses raced in the Preakness Stakes, including five that ran in the Derby. Approximately 2,000 Venezuelans came to support Canonero II and Ávila, and their cheers somehow contributed to the conquest of the unexpected winner.  

The Tightest Three-Way Preakness Finish (1997)

Silver Charm beating Free House and Captain Bodgit in a thrilling Preakness Stakes stretch run in 1997 is the most documented three-way finish in Preakness. His win is considered one of the most hard-earned victories in the race.   Free House and Silver Charm raced side by side in their final 20 strides. Bowie-based Captain Bodgit was also trying to keep up with the current front runners but finished the last of the three, following Free House.

Secretariat the Great (1973)

On May 19, 1973, Secretariat achieved his greatest milestone in his career when he unarguably won the Preakness Stakes. He casually got out of the gate and rushed relentlessly to the second quarter-mile of the race in less than 22 seconds. He was the front runner with 5 1/2 furloughs left. Secretariat passed Sham and Our Native to claim victory in the race.   In 1974, Secretariat retired before being inducted to the Hall of Fame and the National Museum of Racing. He was acknowledged by Sports Illustrated and was named the No.17 athlete in the last 40 years during that time.

The Iconic Stumble (2005)

Afleet Alex fell short in the Kentucky Derby, stumbled yet triumphed in Preakness Stakes 2005, and won the Triple Crown Series through Belmont Stake in the same year.   The champion clipped heels with Scrappy T while coming out of the home turn. Still, he managed to recover from being knocked nearly to his knees and won the 130th Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course.   Scrappy T's jockey, Ramon Dominguez, went to a left-handed whip while in the lead and made Afleet Alex stumble. Accidents always happen in the track, and Afleet Alex's stumble is one to remember.

Barbaro's Startling Injury (2006)

The spectators of Preakness Stakes 2006 have anticipated Barbaro's triumph. Barbaro was eyed as the toughest contingent in the Stakes. Barbaro got seriously fractured above and below his rear ankle in the first sixteenth of a mile during the actual race in Pimlico Race Course. Edgar Prado, Barbaro's jockey, decelerated and halted in front of the clubhouse with the crowd intently looking at them.   The eight remaining horses continued and passed the first turn of the race. Meanwhile, Barbaro held his crooked leg up while an equine ambulance rushed towards the colt.   Peter Brette, the assistant of Barbaro's trainer who was in the paddock, came in first to comfort Barbaro. Michael Matz, his trainer, fled from the clubhouse to the racetrack, followed by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro's owners.   According to the veterinarian who examined Barbaros' legs, his condition is similar to a runner's injury who sprained his ankle and continued without any medical intervention. Then the damage worsened as time passed by.

The First Filly Winner (2009)

Only a few fillies have joined the roster in either of the three-horse races in the Triple Crown Series. One of them is Rachel Alexandra. This filly didn't only compete against fiery colts, and she also conquered all of them in the Preakness Stakes 2009.   Rachel Alexandra tripped at the start of the race and grappled down the stretch. However, her persistence made her finish the race first against Mine That Bird to the wire during the 134th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Final Thoughts

No moment is wasted in the Preakness Stakes, but few make it to the headlines during the specific date of the events. With the latest Preakness Stakes is coming, fans and bettors are more excited to look at the odds for the latest horse race and see if we can see another memorable moment of the sport. Because these bits of the shortest horse race in the Triple Crown Series have somehow made the fans excited, emotional, and thrilled throughout its history.