Friday, May 18, 2012

The Preakness Stakes

If you’ve ever been to Pimlico Race track on any ordinary day during the racing season, you know that it’s pretty bleak. Women in their triple-digits serve you hot dogs, men equally as old spit on the uneven pavement after betting away their life savings, littering is considered obligatory.

Despite this, my family and I have always gone to Pimlico on Mother’s Day. I’m not completely sure how the tradition evolved, but there’s something about it that just works. We read the stats, we eye the horses, place bets, eat junk, and enjoy spending time together outside. Whether my mother would rather be relaxing at a spa, I don’t know, but there’s something magical about the track, despite its lack of funding and lack of decent food—and classy people.

But one time a year, Pimlico has its day of glory: Preakness. (I’ll forget about the Black-Eyed-Susan for now). The place is transformed into a Baltimore utopia. Hats come out. So do thousands of people ready to have a good time. It’s truly a scene and my favorite day of the year (minus the All-School Assembly).

You get up early, meet up with friends, and walk through a lemonade stand-filled Mt. Washington with BBQ grills going, and people everywhere. When you arrive, there’s nothing like spotting local celebrities, getting really into races, walking through the legendary tunnel, and setting up camp with friends in the infield. For those who truly take advantage of their ticket, there are also beach volleyball games, an overbearing Kegasus, and porta-potty running (although they separate them now, and you’ll only last five seconds.)

If usual, dingy Pimlico is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon, this exponentially multiplies on Preakness. So you should all seriously consider coming out this Saturday, grabbing a ticket, and experiencing Baltimore’s biggest holiday.

Wait, like Jake Max…I think I may have just implored you…


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