How well have Derby winners done in the Preakness?

Tomorrow, American Pharoah will look to become the 34th horse in history to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Every year without fail the Derby winner is always the spotlight horse the two weeks leading into the Preakness. If he wins that race, then the media attention on him will more then double heading into the Belmont Stakes with a Triple Crown on the line.

But how well have recent Derby winners performed in the Preakness? Since Affirmed in 1978, only four Derby winners either didn’t run in or did not finish the Preakness. Off the 33 that did, they have a combined record of 33-13-8-3. They finished out of the money only nine times in the last 37 years. Even in the last ten years, their record is 10-3-3-1 with one of those as a DNF, and the other two were 8th and 4th.

Derby horses are primed to be at their peak come race time, and with the Preakness just two weeks later it is highly unlikely for a horse to regress much if at all. On top of that, Bob Baffert has had three Derby winners prior to Pharoah, all three went on to win the Preakness. Going by that, and by how others have done recently, looks like Pharoah should be in the top three.


List of Derby winners and how they’ve done in Baltimore:

2014: California Chrome: 1st

2013: Orb: 4th

2012: I’ll Have Another: 1st

2011: Animal Kingdom: 2nd

2010: Super Saver: 8th

2009: Mine That Bird: 2nd

2008: Big Brown: 1st

2007: Street Sense: 2nd

2006: Barbaro: DNF

2005: Giacomo: 3rd

2004: Smarty Jones: 1st

2003: Funny Cide: 1st

2002: War Emblem: 1st

2001: Monarchos: 6th

2000: Fusaichi Pegasus: 2nd

1999: Charismatic: 1st

1998: Real Quiet: 1st

1997: Silver Charm: 1st

1996: Grindstone: DNR

1995: Thunder Gulch: 3rd

1994: Go For Gin: 2nd

1993: Sea Hero: 5th

1992: Lil E Tee: 5th

1991: Strike the Gold: 6th

1990: Unbridled: 2nd

1989: Sunday Silence: 1st

1988: Winning Colors: 3rd

1987: Alysheba: 1st

1986: Ferdinand: 2nd

1985: Spend a Buck: DNR

1984: Swale: 7th

1983: Sunny’s Halo: 6th

1982: Gato Del Sol: DNR

1981: Pleasant Colony: 1st

1980: Genuine Risk: 2nd

1979: Spectacular Bid: 1st 


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