Sunday, May 22, 2011

Road Trip - Preakness Stakes

The sun-soaked masses in front of the grandstand.

As a giant fan of archaic sports and Americana, I was determined to check out the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on the edge of Baltimore. Kathryn had to work, so my good buddy Robert and I made the short drive up to spend a day watching ponies. Fortunately, we both hate being late and missing out on stuff, but that also meant we spent about 9 hours at the park. We did it just about perfectly though. I may never go again or I may go every year, either way I'm happy.

We saw 12 races in all. But we also got to see literally thousands of dudes dressed like Andy Bernard and two guys who, if they weren't clearly trying to sneak into our seats, we swore were the Winklevoss twins. There were also the typical gals in big hats and salty racetrack regulars. The horse watching was great, but the people watching was unparalleled.

This is the view we had from our seats. We were in the sun, but it was a great location. Right across from the only big screen, near the finish line and the starting gates for the longer races (including the Preakness).

We were suddenly transported to some alternate world where these guys were famous enough for autograph sessions.

Towards the very end of the day, the Preakness field paraded between us and the sweaty misery of the infield.

A nice element of Pimlico is that the paddock is right in the center of the grandstand. We wandered over a couple of times to get out of the sun and look at some horses.

Look at this one...

Robert beating the crowd to a morning round of Black Eyed Susans, the signature drink of the Preakness Stakes. They are incredibly fruity and surprising powerful.

Later in the day we both tried our first oyster shooters - a raw oyster topped with Cayenne pepper, Tabasco, cocktail sauce, and the King of Beers...

I loved it.

The US Air Force parachuting in the flag before the Stakes.

Losers, all of them...

No trip to Baltimore is complete without a pit beef sandwich. We swung by Chaps on our way home.

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