Ten Things to Know Before You Go: Preakness Stakes

Events / Travel
Fans enjoy the Preakness Stakes atmosphere at Pimlico.
Fans enjoy the Preakness Stakes atmosphere at Pimlico. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Preakness Stakes comes to Baltimore this Saturday, and if you’re heading to the middle jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico, we have 10 things you should know before you go.

1. Know the runners.

While the Kentucky Derby winner won’t be running in the Preakness this year, there’s still a very talented field of horses coming to Baltimore. You can meet the contenders with our Xpressbet Cheat Sheet right here.

2. You can still buy tickets.

If you don’t have your tickets yet, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of time to get yours. Head on over to Preakness.com and select the experience that’s right for you. Want to party and check out some incredible music? Grab InfieldFest tickets! If you don’t want to miss a minute of the racing action, Facility Tickets are your best bet. Maybe you want an elegant experience – then you’ll want to secure a seat in one of the dining areas or the Preakness village.

3. Know how to bet.

Wanna bet? We do, too! There are plenty of ways to bet the Preakness Stakes, but if you’re going to be at Pimlico, the two best bets are bringing cash or downloading the Xpressbet app. As the official online betting platform of the Preakness Stakes, Xpressbet lets you legally play the races on your phone, whether you’re at the track or at a bar with friends. Plus, they have an incredibly helpful betting guide to this year’s race that has tips from some of the top horseplayers in the nation. If you’ve never placed a bet on a horse race, no problem! You’re at the right website. We have a whole beginner’s guide to gambling right here so you can play the Preakness with confidence.

4. There’s a pre-party waiting for you.

If you want to celebrate the Preakness in style, donate to some amazing causes, and walk away with incredible silent auction items, do I have some good news for you: There’s a Pre-Preakness welcome party on Wednesday night, and it’s going to be incredible. For the sixth year in a row, we’re throwing a party with Sagamore Farm to benefit retired racehorses through Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Beyond the Wire; plus there will be all sorts of door prizes, pros giving Preakness betting advice, racing celebrities, and so much more. If you want tickets, they’re right here; it’s a great party with a great cause! 

5. Tour the barns before the race.

Ever wanted to go behind the scenes to see how elite racehorses prepare for the Preakness? Up until Friday, Pimlico gives you that chance with their Sunrise Tours all week! You’ll get to watch horses train on the track, and then take a guided tour of the barn area to see where Thoroughbreds spend their time off of the oval. Get the details right here.

6. Try the signature cocktail.

You already know about the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps, but if you haven’t tried the black-eyed Susan (the signature cocktail of the Preakness Stakes), you’re in for a treat. A delicious (and powerful) blend of vodka, orange juice, bourbon, and sweet and sour mix, they’re a must for people who like a cocktail.

7. Know where to grab food and drinks around town.

Baltimore is famous for its food; from fresh seafood to delicate Berger cookies, you’re in for a treat once you get into town. We have your insider’s guide right here, so pick your favorites and get ready for gourmet living.

8. Have an alibi ready to go, but also have waffles.

Ever wanted to rub shoulders with the owners, trainers, and jockeys of the Preakness Stakes contenders? Then you’ll want to go to the Alibi Breakfast. It’s one of the best parts of Preakness week, filled with great food and so much fun: Each and every trainer running a horse is handed a microphone, and they all tell tall tales and stories throughout the meal. Plus, you’ll have the chance to see the Preakness Stakes trophy up close, which is incredibly cool since it’s the most valuable trophy in all of sports. Grab your tickets here, and get ready for the time of your life. 

9. Know what you can (and can’t) bring with you.

So much mud so much fun! #preakness2018

A post shared by Tori (@vpaige139) on

I will never stop telling people to bring ponchos to Triple Crown races – trust me, they’re great to have for a day at the track whether or not it rains. Ponchos aside, it’s really important to know what you can and can’t bring to the Preakness, so make sure you’re prepared before you leave for Pimlico.

10. Friday at Pimlico is a ton of fun.

You already know that Saturday at the Preakness is a famously good time; but Friday (known as Black-Eyed Susan day) is amazing in its own right. In addition to the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the grandstand apron (which is the area just next to the track) will have a collection of shops, boutiques, and businesses owned exclusively by women; plus there’s an author signing, a fashion contest, and a whole lot more! Get the details on all the day’s events right here, and be sure to be at Pimlico for this amazing Preakness precursor.

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