Every year, the Preakness Stakes earns its winner a garland of Black-Eyed Susans and a place in the history books. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the victors of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown once their racing careers are over, wonder no more! We have the update on where the past 20 winners are now below.
2020: Swiss Skydiver
Only the sixth filly (that’s a 3-year-old female horse) to ever win the Preakness, Swiss Skydiver is still running. She most recently finished third in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April.
2019: War of Will
After his Preakness win, War of Will went on to capture the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at age 4 at Keeneland. He has since retired and is enjoying stallion duties at Claiborne Farm; his first babies will arrive in 2022.
More like Justifly, right? Justify famously took a jump over a tire track in the middle of the 2018 Preakness, but that didn’t stop him from winning the race and going on to become only the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. These days he’s standing as a stallion at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
2017: Cloud Computing
After winning the 2017 Preakness in an upset – a $2 win bet on Cloud Computing yielded savvy bettors $28.80 – he finished his 3-year-old racing season and ran twice as a 4-year-old before retiring to stud. He stands at Spendthrift Farm near Lexington, Ky.
Exaggerator would go on to win the Haskell Invitational after the Preakness Stakes, though he didn’t fare as well in the Belmont Stakes or the Pennsylvania Derby. He’s now enjoying life as a successful stallion at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
2015: American Pharoah
A freak rainstorm wasn’t enough to stop American Pharoah from romping in the 2015 Preakness. He would go on to capture that year’s Belmont Stakes, making him the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. After a successful summer campaign that saw him win the Haskell Stakes and come in second in the Travers, American Pharoah went on to win the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic before retiring to become a stallion at Ashford Stud.
2014: California Chrome
The 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome was a blue-collar horse who captured the world’s imagination with his grit and determination. While he was unable to win the 2014 Belmont Stakes, he amassed almost $15 million in earnings on the track before settling into stallion duty, first at Taylor Made Stud in Kentucky and now at Arrow Stud in Hokkaido, Japan.
Talk about an upset! Oxbow came out of nowhere to win the 2013 Preakness for two Hall of Famers: trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens. Now retired to stud at Calumet Farm, he’s the proud father of 2021 third-place Kentucky Derby finisher Hot Rod Charlie.
2012: I’ll Have Another
Derby winner I’ll Have Another swept from behind to take the Preakness in a squeaker but was denied a bid for Triple Crown glory when he had to scratch out of the Belmont Stakes. Now, he’s a stallion standing at Ocean Breeze Ranch in Bonsall, Calif.
The handsome Shackleford took the 2011 Preakness and delighted his bettors, yielding $27.20 for a $2 win bet, and nowadays he’s a stallion standing in South Korea.
2010: Lookin At Lucky
Winning the Preakness was a big feather in Lookin at Lucky’s success; after his racing career concluded, he became a successful sire at Ashford Stud. Some of his top sons include Kentucky Derby winner Country House and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Accelerate.
2009: Rachel Alexandra
Rachel Alexandra captured the heart of a nation when she became just the fifth filly to record a Preakness victory after supplementing into the race for a $100,000 fee. But that piece of history wasn’t enough for her: she went defeat the boys again in that summer’s Haskell Invitational and then the Woodward Stakes in a goosebump-inducing finish. Following her racing career, she became a broodmare, producing two winners: Rachel’s Valentina and Jess’s Dream. While both foals were successful on the track, Rachel Alexandra would have complications with pregnancy that led to the decision to retire her completely. She is currently living out her days at her owner Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm.
2008: Big Brown
After his Kentucky Derby win, Big Brown won the Preakness Stakes before being denied a Triple Crown win in the Belmont Stakes. Now he’s a stallion standing at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater, N.Y.
2007 was a great year for horse racing rivalries: the trio of Curlin, Street Sense, and Hard Spun made each of their races a heart-pounding affair, and that year’s Preakness was no exception. As the horses battled down the stretch, it looked like Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense would be heading into a Triple Crown bid; but Curlin would not be denied and gamely took home the Preakness with a bob of his head. He would be a two-time Horse of the Year in his career, and at stud Curlin would prove to be just as tenacious: standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Kentucky, his progeny include 2016 Preakness winner Exaggerator, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso, and 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice.
Although a pall was cast over the 2006 Preakness when Barbaro suffered a career-ending injury at the start of the race, racing fans should also pay respect to the race’s eventual winner Bernardini. After his Preakness Stakes victory, Bernardini would go on to capture the Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes at Saratoga and the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Following his racing career, he became a very successful stallion and currently stands at Godolphin's Jonabell Farm outside of Lexington, Ky.
2005: Afleet Alex
When Afleet Alex crossed the wire in the Preakness, he won the race; however, he truly proved his athleticism and grit in the race on the turn for home when Scappy T, a longshot, bumped into him and knocked Afleet Alex to his knees. He picked himself up and won for fun, cementing his place in the history books. These days, he’s a stallion at Gainesway Stud in Lexington, Ky.
2004: Smarty Jones
Fan favorite Smarty Jones ignited the country with his Triple Crown bid in 2004. After his Preakness win, he was denied the Belmont on a rainy afternoon in June and was retired shortly thereafter. He now is a stallion his home state of Pennsylvania at Equistar Training and Breeding.
2003: Funny Cide
If you fell in love with this gutsy New York-bred who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, you can see him at the Kentucky Horse Park where he lives in the Hall of Champions.
2002: War Emblem
War Emblem retired to stud duty following his racing career, but showed little interest in mares. He was subsequently retired to Old Friends Farm, where he passed away in 2020 at the age of 21.
2001: Point Given
Point Given would exit the Preakness but not the winner’s circle: after his victory in Baltimore, he went on to win the Belmont Stakes, the Haskell Invitational, and the Travers Stakes in 2001. He was declared the 2001 Horse of the Year, entered the Hall of Fame in 2010, and stood as a sire until 2017. Now retired, he lives in the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park.