05/16/09 What a thrilling 134th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore on Saturday! A filly named Rachel Alexandra came across the finish line ahead of the field – the first female horse to win the race in 85 years. But the bigger story was the question a lot of spectators had on their minds: will this be the last time the 2nd Jewel in racing’s Triple Crown will be held in the state of Maryland? The syndicate which owns Laurel and Pimlico racetracks is bankrupt and an offer has been floated to turn the property into a shopping center. The downturn in the economy has certainly taken a toll. I noticed a couple major financial institutions in the state that had had tents in the VIP area of the infield last year were not around this year. Attendance in the decidedly non-VIP section of the infield was down drastically because of a ban on containers. The track banned alcohol from being brought in and the resulting crowd, which often swelled to 90,000 rowdy and sun burnt souls, was off by maybe half that number.
Rachel Alexandra in the post parade before the race.
Jockey Calvin Borel on board Rachel Alexandra celebrates after winning the 134 running of the Preakness Stakes.
When I think of horse racing . . . I think of beach volleyball?
Mud spattered jockey Mike Smith – who finished 2nd in the Preakness on board KY Derby winner Mine That Bird – describes his run in the Preakness immediately after the race.
Stakes barn hours after the race.