What You Don't Know About The Preakness

Where did the name "Preakness" come from?

May 15, 2019

Photo Credit: Diane Lyn

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Have you ever wondered where the word "Preakness" came from? It comes from a New Jersey tribe of Native Americans, the area lived in was called "Pra-qua-les" which meant "quail wood." A horse owner from the 1800's liked the name and called his horse farm Preakness. And the race eventually evolved into the Preakness Stakes of today.

The race has never been on a Sunday, since 1931.

Black Eyed Susans are used for a blanket on the winner every year since 1940. They are fake flowers made from daisies. Black Eyed Susans do not bloom in Maryland until June. So the daisies are colored with a black lacquer in the center. Pretty smart! It takes four people about eight hours to make the blanket.

We know the Black Eyed Susan is the state flower, so how did that happen? The flower has 13 petals, representing the 13 original colonies. Maryland was one of the 13 colonies and so it stuck as our flower. The flower represents the Maryland's black and yellow colors in the flag.