BALTIMORE — It was a record setting day at Pimlico for the 95th Black Eyed Susan Day. Despite the talks of the Preakness Stakes leaving town — more than 51,000 people came out on the day before the 144th running of the second jewel of the triple crown.
There's been a lot of back and forth about moving the race to Laurel and about the condition of the facility. It’s the second-oldest track in the country, and they had a water main break in the basement that knocked out water during the Black Eyed Susie event for an hour.
A section of the grandstand was closed a few months ago because it wasn’t safe. Despite the ongoing discussion about moving the race, the charm of the second jewel of the triple crown is still shining.
“We’ve been coming to the Preakness for the past 10 years here at Pimlico,” Carolyn Melody said. “Our seats originally were in the condemned area, and we moved like three weeks ago to a different spot. I think it’s great thing for Baltimore.”
Down the hill from Pimlico and new this year is a “Race to Preakness Inner Harbor Party."
“Kinda feel the vibe and feel like I'm kinda part of the action even though I'm not there,” Crystale Spearman said.
The party had things for people of all ages and live music from local artists.
“It’s so great to see the Baltimore music scene thrive,” said James Lane. “Especially a band like Super City, they’ve been working so hard for so long. To get them to come out and perform at a place like this is incredible.”
David Wilson, the Senior Vice President of the Stronach said despite all the talk of the future — he wants people to see the focus the group is putting into Baltimore right now.
“We just continue to kind of have our tentacles so to speak in other parts of the city,” Wilson said. “I think there’s a great opportunity for that next year and continue to build. This Race to Preakness is just one example to kick things off, but I think you’ll start to see more and more.”
Gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and post time is scheduled for around 6:45 p.m.