How Long is the Preakness? (How Many Miles and How Much Time Will it Take in 2023?)

Distance and time for Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Distance and time for Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 2023 Preakness Stakes is set for Saturday, May 20, with an estimated post time of 7:01 p.m. ET. The 148th running of the event will occur at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, as it does every year.

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of the Triple Crown, taking place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans is thus one of the biggest and most important horse races of the year.

While there is considerable build-up to the Preakness, the event itself doesn't last very long. Here's everything you need to know about how long the race is.

What is the Distance of the Preakness Stakes?

The Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course is officially measured at 9.5 furlongs. For those who aren't familiar with horseracing measurements, that translates to 1 3/16 miles or 1.91 km. The race has been this distance since 1925, although it originally started out as 1 1/2 miles when it began all the way back in 1873.

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How Much Time Does the Preakness Stakes Take?

Like most horse races of a similar distance, the Preakness Stakes typically lasts around two minutes. The record for the current distance of 9.5 furlongs was 1:53, set by Triple Crown winner Secretariat in 1973. For context, 2022 winner Early Voting finished the race in 1:54.54.

It's also worth noting that the race isn't officially over until the final horse crosses the finish line, which often happens a few seconds after the winner.

How Long is the Track at the Preakness Stakes?

The oval dirt track at Pimlico measures one mile. Since the race itself is 1 3/16 miles, that means eight contenders on Saturday will run a little more than one lap around the track.

How Long is a Furlong?

A furlong is 1/8 of a mile, which works out to be 220 yards / 660 feet. It's an imperial unit of measurement that originates from farming terms in Old English timescoming from the words furh (furrow) and lang (long). It's a relatively old form of measurement that was once a standard measure around agricultural fields but is now used almost exclusively in horse racing in the United States.

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