The Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes

It’s Preakness week in Maryland! The horse racing world is at Pimilico this week for the running of 139thPreakness Stakes. The thoroughbred racing event takes place on Saturday, May 17th at the Pimlico Race Track. There are many events during Preakness Week from tours of the race track to concerts to charity events. One of the great events that takes place daily at the track during Preakness week is watching the sunrise over the Grandstand and then taking a free tour of the stable area and getting insights into the racing world.

The Preakness Stakes is the “middle jewel” in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown which is the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. The race is traditionally held on the third Saturday in May at Plimco Race Track, which is the 2nd oldest race track in the United States. California Chrome, the winner of the 2014 Kentucky Derby is the favorite in the field of up to 14 three-year old colts, geldings and/or fillies.  The winner of the race wins a million dollar purse. Starting positions for the race will be determined the evening of Wednesday, May 14th. Starting positions for the race will be determined the evening of Wednesday, May 14th.

Friday, May 16th is Black-Eyed Susan Day, when the oldest stake racing event , dating back to 1919, is run at Pimlico. Of course, the race is named after the Maryland state flower, the black-eyed susan. This race is a 1-1/8 mile race for 3 year old fillies. This year, a share of the event proceeds and race will be donated to the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. There will also be a special fund raising event called the “Lady Legends for the Cure” with retired female jockeys returning to take part in special races. To top off the day, there will be concerts in the infield by Annie Bosko, the Fray and The Counting Crows.

Infield Fest, is a multi-entertainment festival on the infield of Pimlico Race Track that takes place throughout race day, May 17th. The festival includes food and other vendors, music, entertainment and much more! Two-time Grammy winner, Lorde, will be the headliner for the festival with other regional and national performers appearing on the two infield stages. The performers include Switchfoot, Eli Young Band, Sundy Best, Go Go Gadjet, Nas and Glenn Morrison.

One of the many highlights of Preakness Week (other than the race) is the balloon festival at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland. The Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival runs Thursday, May 15th to Saturday, May 17th. The free festival will have hot air balloon rides (for a fee), crafts, family activities and entertainment. In the evening, the balloons are lit with special lights as they launch into the sky. It is quite the sight to see!

Preakness Week always brings excitement to the Baltimore area from the Preakness Stakes to the Preakness Celebration; don’t miss out on any of these great events.

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