What You Need to Know Before You Go to the 2023 Preakness Stakes

Events / Travel
Preakness weekend at Pimlico Race Course offers two unforgettable days of elite racing and entertainment in Baltimore. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Baltimore will be the center of the racing world this Saturday, May 20, when Pimlico plays host to the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

Get to Know the Horses

This year’s Preakness Stakes is shaping up to be an exciting one, with upset Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Mage pointing to the race. Check out this year’s entries with our contender slideshow and the cheat sheet.

Get Your Tickets

Pimlico offers a variety of experiences for this year’s Preakness. There’s the Turfside Terrace in the infield, luxury suites, and clubhouse seating with great views of the track. Learn more about ticket options here.

Check Out the Festival

The 2023 Preakness Live! Culinary Arts and Music Festival celebrates the culture of Baltimore by highlighting pillars of local art, music, and more. This year’s event on May 20 is headlined by Bruno Mars.

The Preakness Pre-Party

You can celebrate the Preakness in style and contribute to a great cause at America’s Best Racing’s Pre-Preakness Party! The event takes place at Baltimore’s Mount Washington Tavern. All proceeds go to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which supports racehorse aftercare organizations across the country. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door, and include admission, a drink, a light buffet, and the opportunity to mingle with trainers, jockeys, and other racing personalities.

Get Ready for Black-Eyed Susan Day

Preakness is a terrific weekend in Baltimore. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Saturday isn’t the only big day of racing at Pimlico this week. Friday’s card is headlined by the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the filly equivalent of the Preakness. The Friday card also features the historic Pimlico Special Stakes for older male horses, plus four other great stakes races. Learn more about the day’s events here.

Catch a Sunrise Tour

Pimlico offers a behind-the-scenes look at the racing action Preakness week with its popular sunrise tours. Tours are offered Tuesday through Friday starting at 6 a.m, ET and include visits with the blacksmiths, jockeys, trainers, outriders, and more! The tours are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Enjoy the Alibi Breakfast

A long-standing Preakness tradition, the Alibi Breakfast is annually held the Thursday before the Preakness, and offers horsemen and media members a chance to make their predictions for the big race. It takes place in the Terrace dining room at Pimlico. You can purchase tickets here.

Try the Signature Cocktail

Enjoy a Black-Eyed Susan cocktail. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Kentucky Derby has the mint julep, and likewise the Preakness has its own signature drink, the Black-Eyed Susan. It’s a combination of vodka, orange juice, bourbon, and sweet and sour mix. A Preakness weekend trip isn’t complete without trying one.

Know What You Can and Can’t Bring

Preakness day can be a long one; it’s almost nine hours between first post and the running of the big race. Make sure you’re prepared by bringing a phone charger, sunscreen, and a poncho, in case of an errant Maryland thunderstorm. Bags up to 18x18 are permitted, anything else is not allowed. Other prohibited items include outside food and drink, drones, chairs, tents, and glass containers of any type. Check out the full list of what you can and can’t bring here.

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