Baltimore will be the center of the racing world this Saturday, when Pimlico plays host to the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
Get to Know the Horses
Although Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Rich Strike will not participate, this year’s edition still looks to be an exciting one, featuring Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath, Derby runner-up Epicenter, and Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes winner Simplification. Check out this year’s entries with our contender slideshow and the cheat sheet.
Get Your Tickets
Pimlico offers a variety of experiences for this year’s Preakness. There’s the Turfside Terrace in the infield, luxury suites, and clubhouse seating with great views of the track. Learn more about ticket options here.
Check Out the Festivals
There will be two days of great music at the Preakness this year. Friday features the Preakness Live! Culinary Arts and Music Festival, celebrating the culture of Baltimore and highlighting pillars of local art, music, and more. The event is headlined by a performance by Megan Thee Stallion.
Saturday features the iconic InfieldFest, combining great music with the spirit and excitement of the Triple Crown experience. This year’s event features performances by Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, DJ Frank Walker, and MoneyBagg Yo, among others.
Learn How to Bet Pimlico
Pimlico only races a few days a year, and it can be a tricky track for people who don’t play the circuit on a regular basis. Check out my guide to playing Pimlico to learn about the wagering menu, track biases, jockeys and trainers to watch, and more!
The Preakness Pre-Party
You can celebrate the Preakness in style and contribute to a great cause at America’s Best Racing’s Pre-Preakness Party! The event returns after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, and takes place at Baltimore’s Mount Washington Tavern. All proceeds go to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which supports racehorse aftercare organizations across the country. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door, and include admission, a drink, a light buffet, and the opportunity to mingle with trainers, jockeys, and other racing personalities.
Get Ready for Black-Eyed Susan Day
Saturday isn’t the only big day of racing at Pimlico this week. Friday’s card is headlined by the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the filly equivalent of the Preakness. The Friday card also features the historic Pimlico Special Stakes for older male horses, plus four other great stakes races. Learn more about the day’s events here.
Catch a Sunrise Tour
Pimlico offers a behind-the-scenes look at the racing action Preakness week with its popular sunrise tours. Tours are offered Tuesday through Friday starting at 6:00 a.m, ET and include visits with the blacksmiths, jockeys, trainers, outriders, and more! The tours are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Enjoy the Alibi Breakfast
A long-standing Preakness tradition, the Alibi Breakfast is annually held the Thursday before the Preakness, and offers horsemen and media members a chance to make their predictions for the big race. It takes place in the Hall of Fame dining room at Pimlico. You can purchase tickets here.
Try the Signature Cocktail
The Kentucky Derby has the mint julep, and likewise the Preakness has its own signature drink, the Black-Eyed Susan. It’s a combination of vodka, orange juice, bourbon, and sweet and sour mix. A Preakness weekend trip isn’t complete without trying one.
Know What You Can and Can’t Bring
Preakness day can be a long one; it’s almost nine hours between first post and the running of the big race. Make sure you’re prepared by bringing a phone charger, sunscreen, and a poncho, in case of an errant Maryland thunderstorm. Bags up to 18×18 are permitted, anything else is not allowed. Other prohibited items include outside food and drink, drones, chairs, tents, and glass containers of any type. Check out the full list of what you can and can’t bring here.