Champions and the Preakness Stakes

Swiss Skydiver wins the Preakness. Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire photo

A total of 16 of the last 26 Preakness Stakes winners have been named champion 3-year-old male at the annual Eclipse Awards, the most recent being Triple Crown winner Justify in 2018. The 2020 Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver was honored with the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old female that year, too.

The 13 other most recent Preakness Stakes winners to be named 3-year-old champion are: Real Quiet (1998); Charismatic (1999); Point Given (2001); War Emblem (2002); Funny Cide (2003); Smarty Jones (2004); Afleet Alex (2005); Bernardini (2006); Curlin (2007); Big Brown (2008); Lookin At Lucky (2010); I’ll Have Another (2012); California Chrome (2014); and American Pharoah (2015).

The filly Rachel Alexandra (2009), who became the first filly since Nellie Morse (1924) to win the Preakness Stakes, was named both Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly honors in the year she won the Preakness. She also defeated the boys when she won that year’s Haskell Invitational (G1) and Woodward Stakes (G1). She was 18th Preakness winner to earn Horse of the Year.

Preakness/Eclipse Champions since 1937

From 1936-1970 American champions were named by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) and The Daily Racing Form (DRF). In 1971 The Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers’ Association (NTWA)and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations formed the Eclipse Awards. No champions were named prior to 1936.)

1937 War Admiral

1939 Challedon

1940 Bimelech

1941 Whirlaway

1942 Alsab

1943 Count Fleet

1946 Assault

1948 Citation

1949 Capot

1950 Hill Prince

1953 Native Dancer

1955 Nashua

1957 Bold Ruler

1958 Tim Tam

1961 Carry Back

1964 Northern Dancer

1965 Tom Rolfe

1967 Damascus

1970 Personality

1971 Canonero II

1973 Secretariat

1974 Little Current

1977 Seattle Slew

1978 Affirmed

1979 Spectacular Bid

1981 Pleasant Colony

1986 Snow Chief

1987 Alysheba

1988 Risen Star

1989 Sunday Silence

1991 Hansel

1993 Prairie Bayou

1997 Silver Charm

1998 Real Quiet

1999 Charismatic

2001 Point Given

2002 War Emblem

2003 Funny Cide

2004 Smarty Jones

2005 Afleet Alex

2006 Bernardini

2007 Curlin

2008 Big Brown

2009 Rachel Alexandra (*filly Eclipse Award winner)

2010 Lookin at Lucky

2012 I’ll Have Another

2014 California Chrome

2015 American Pharoah

2018 Justify

2020 Swiss Skydiver (*filly Eclipse Award winner)


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