2011 Preakness Stakes: Fans Enjoying the Laid Back Atmosphere of Pimlico

Fans Enjoying the Preakness Long Before the Horses Even Take To The Track

The 2011 Preakness Stakes draws the attention of the horse racing world today as crowds flock to Pimlico Racetrack for the 136th running of the famed second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is looking to continue his quest for glory after beating long odds to win down the stretch at Churchill Downs. He'll face stiff competition from opponents such as Mucho Macho Man, Dance City, Shackleford, Dialed In and Sway Away.

Once upon a time, Pimlico Race Course was a "bring your own beer" type of affair. However, rowdy crowds, injuries, and underage drinking ended that practice a few years ago. Looking to get back some of the lost attendance, the Maryland Jockey Club has attempted to re-create that party atmosphere.

AP Writer David Ginsburg describes the scene:

Even though it was more mellow than in years past, the "Family Section" on the far side of the infield—where only soda and water were sold—was virtually empty.

Those in the infield aren't there to see the horses. It's all about drinking, soaking in the sun on an 80-degree day and watching the people walk by.

A much different atmosphere from the more regal Kentucky Derby, but at atmosphere Baltimore sports fans appear to enjoy.

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