Pimlico Race Course
5201 Park Heights Ave., 410/542-9400,
The nation’s second-oldest horse-racing track (behind New York’s Saratoga) opened in 1870, covering 70 acres of what was then countryside north of Baltimore City. Although there was a period (1889–1904) when there was no flat-track racing here, Pimlico has now been running the horses for more than 104 years. The first Preakness Stakes was run here in 1873, two years before the first Kentucky Derby.
“Old Hilltop,” as it’s called by old-timers, runs races throughout the spring, sharing the state’s racing season with another track in Laurel, south of Baltimore (check the website for schedules). Weekday attendance is pretty sparse, so if you’re looking for a quiet day at the races, Pimlico is a lock. Crowds erupt, however, on the third Saturday in May, when the Preakness draws over 100,000 fans.
© Geoff Brown from Moon Baltimore, 1st Edition