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The Preakness Stakes brightens Baltimore every third Saturday in May, this year falling on May 18. Known for its thrilling horse races, this event marks a key highlight in the Triple Crown, drawing crowds to the historic Pimlico Race Course.

Excitement fills the air as some of the finest thoroughbred horses sprint to the finish line, surrounded by festive music and high spirits.

This day is not just about fast horses; it’s a full-blown celebration. With everything from luxurious VIP areas to live concerts, the Preakness Stakes offers a variety of experiences.

High-energy performances by well-known artists contribute to the lively atmosphere, ensuring that there’s entertainment for everyone. Whether you’re there for the race or the concerts, the event promises memorable moments.

Beyond the races, the Preakness Stakes is a cultural festival featuring fine dining and exclusive viewing areas.

Attendees can enjoy gourmet meals and a range of beverages, all while dressing in colorful, fashionable outfits. This blend of sport, music, and style captures the essence of the Preakness Stakes.

History of Preakness Stakes​

The Preakness Stakes has a rich history that dates back to its first race on May 27, 1873, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was named after a winning horse, Preakness, who triumphed in an earlier race at Pimlico. The event started small, with just seven runners. Since then, it has grown into a major American horse racing event. It has formed part of the Triple Crown along with the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes​​.

Pimlico, often referred to affectionately as “Old Hilltop” due to a small rise in the infield, has been the consistent home of the Preakness, except for brief periods when the race was moved to New York due to legislative and organizational shifts in the sport.

This includes a notable hiatus and venue changes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries​. Pimlico holds a deep connection to Baltimore’s culture and history, with traditions dating back to the colonial era and the racetrack’s establishment in 1870​.

Over the years, the Preakness Stakes has been known for its sporting significance and social and cultural festivities, including the tradition of draping the winning horse with a blanket of yellow flowers painted to resemble black-eyed Susans, Maryland’s state flower.

This tradition reflects Preakness’s nickname, “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans“​​. The event has managed to maintain its charm and prestige through various historical challenges, becoming a beloved annual celebration in the heart of Maryland.

How to Celebrate Preakness Stakes​

Dive into Preakness Live!

One can’t simply miss the electrifying atmosphere of Preakness Live during the race weekend. This musical spectacle features top artists and sets the Pimlico Race Course abuzz with tunes and cheers.

Imagine swaying to beats under the open sky as the horses thunder by—truly a festival vibe not to be overlooked!

Feast in Style

Why settle for standard fare when you can indulge in gourmet delights? Preakness offers luxurious dining options with trackside views.

From a gourmet luncheon to unlimited fine beverages, elevate your race day experience with a culinary feast fit for a king or queen. It’s a perfect mix of sport and fine dining.

Experience VIP Luxury

For those looking to splurge, the Preakness doesn’t disappoint with its VIP experiences. Enjoy the race from the best seats in the house, complete with all-day gourmet food, unlimited drinks, and exclusive access areas.

It’s a premium way to witness the thundering hooves and racing heartbeats.

Sip on the Signature Drink

No Preakness celebration is complete without sipping on the traditional Black-Eyed Susan cocktail. Named after Maryland’s state flower, this delightful mix of vodka, peach schnapps, and orange juice is a refreshing way to toast to the thrilling race outcomes.

Each of these suggestions offers a unique way to soak in the Preakness Stakes’ vibrant atmosphere and make your experience unforgettable. Whether you’re there for the horses, the music, the food, or the cocktails, Preakness has something special for everyone​.

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