At the Preakness: Top Five Moments

The Life

The Preakness is all about the party and the fans. This was my second time at the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, and I was reminded again of all the great things it has to offer. There seems to be a bit more tension at the Kentucky Derby, the first of three grueling races in a five week period, and an added level of stress at the Belmont Stakes, the final and longest race of the series.

The Preakness, right in the middle, is of course an important stepping stone to the Triple Crown, but it’s also a chance to focus on the fun and have a great experience. Between the craziness of the infield, exciting concerts, crab cakes and Black-Eyed Susans, and of course, great racing, that’s exactly what it is.

I had the chance to be America’s Best Racing’s infield correspondent, and got to talk with a lot of people at the Preakness about fashion, food, and the fan experience (watch the video). The best part about this was seeing how much fun everyone was having, and seeing that some people in the infield actually knew there was a horse race going on. Imagine that!

I got to watch one of the craziest races I’ve ever seen live, right next to the track and with some of my favorite people. Our mouths hung open after American Pharoah crossed the finish line, stunned by his performance and the ride given to him by jockey Victor Espinoza. Could this, we all wondered, be the year that we finally have another Triple Crown winner?

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Here is a horse that has an ability to capture the attention of a crowd previously concerned with the growing velocity of the wind and the growing number of Black-Eyed Susans or Orange Crushes they have consumed. For a few moments, all eyes were on a field of eight horses running at lightning speed in the pouring rain, and as a result, all minds are now focused on the chance for history to be made in just three short weeks at Belmont Park in New York. Now, all we can do is wait.

My Top 5 Preakness Moments:

5) The reunion that happens at all big races.

Big race days such as the Preakness are always a great time to catch up with fellow fans you haven’t seen in a while. Any excuse for a celebration, right?

4) The Maryland Jockey Club party at the Horseshoe Casino.

Complete with acrobats and an extensive dessert table.

3) The fashion.

On Friday for Black-Eyed Susan day, Pimlico was covered in pink. On Preakness Day, there was a wash of bright colors, fabulous hats, and floral.

2) The craziness that ensued when the skies opened up.

I was in the Grey Goose tent in the infield when the wind started to pick up and the buckets of rain started to descend on track visitors. Everyone took off their fancy hats and fascinators, and (more or less) embraced the rain. There was so much excitement about the race that there really wasn’t even that much time to be upset about the weather. It felt like being inside some sort of amusement park ride.

1) American Pharoah’s epic Preakness Stakes win.

Duh. Did you see how fast that horse went over that sloppy track?

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