The Preakness Stakes in Baltimore is the second leg of horse racing's triple crown. On the third Saturday in May, the sports world turns its eyes to Pimlico for one of the country's most storied sporting events.
But the Preakness is so much more than just a horse race. It's annual rite of spring party in Baltimore. The Black-Eyed Susans flow in the grandstands, as do the canned beers on the infield. Preakness parties pop up in homes and corner bars, where a few friendly wagers usually change hands. For 135 years, the Preakness has been a big part of Baltimore's cultural fabric.
2010 Preakness Details
Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010
Post Time: 6:15 p.m.
TV: NBC, 5:00 p.m.
Purse: $1 million
Length: 1 3/16 miles
Race Card: 13 races, the first of which starts at 10:15 a.m. The Preakness is race No. 12
Post positions: Starting slots for the maximum 14-horse field will be drawn on Wednesday, May 12 at 5 p.m.
The first Preakness was held in 1873, and it drew seven starters. The winner was Survivor, who took home $2,050 in winnings.
The Preakness thrived for the next 17 years, however, it moved in 1890 to Morris Park in New York. The Maryland Jockey Club continued to be involved in racing by presenting some steeplechasing and even trotting races at Pimlico, but the Preakness did not return to Pimlico until 1909. During this time, the Preakness was run for 15 years at the Gravesend track in Brooklyn, New York.
From 1909, the Preakness has run without without exception each year at Pimlico.
If You Go
First things first. The infield, long an almost-anything-goes oasis of partying, for the second straight year will look much, much different in 2010. Once again spectators will not be allowed to bring drinks of any kind. New in 2010: $20 gets you an all-you-can-drink mug in the beer garden.
Food still is allowed, but no thermoses, bulk or oversized carrying devices, or coolers larger than 28"L x 15"W x 17"H will be permitted. Alcoholic beverages will be sold, but the atmosphere and environment in the infield probably will be drastically different. InfieldFest events will include concerts by O.A.R. and the Zac Brown Band, a Pro Beach East Volleyball Tour tournament, cornhole tournament, bikini contest, and a food and beer garden.InfieldFest tickets are $40 and can be purchased online.
Phone: 410-542-9400 or 1-877-206-8042, ext. 300. Or call Ticketmaster at 410-547-7328
Online: Visit the Preakness' online ticket page.
Parking: Parking must be purchased through the Pimlico ticket office. Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods often sell space on their property, but these spaces can cost a lot and fill up quickly. The key to parking at the Preakness: get there early.
Visit the official Web site of the Preakness