Preakness Maryland

Even though Chennai Race course is literally 20-mins from where my family lives, I have never bothered to stop by for a race. And it took me almost 13-years to look at my adopted home base (Washington D.C) from a traveler’s perspective and stop ignoring the potentials of my own backyard.

From the day my perspective changed, I have been doing more fun things than ever before in the DC metro area. I should probably consider a summary post before I head out on my sabbatical to demonstrate how fun DC area is, if you look for the right things to do.


One of such fun events is Preakness stakes that happens every 3rd saturday of month of May. Just outside of downtown Baltimore, is the Pimlico Race Course that conducts Preakness race every year.

The entire area becomes a mad house on the day of the event with such huge crowd of drunk people in the middle of the day. Given the proximity to Johns Hopkins University, there were a lot of college drunk kids.


Major entertainments at the event:

  • Drinking
  • Concerts
  • Betting on the horses

Except for drinking we did the rest. This year, they featured Pitbull and MACKLEMORE concerts.


Our group was split between concert and betting. My cousin Navaneeth was more focused on betting whereas the girls were more into concert. But, we managed to do both with a bit of coordination. If you get lost in the crowd, the AT&T cellphones won’t work in the infield area.



  • Ticket: They release infield tickets well ahead of time for online purchase. But, online system charges an extra $7.50 for ticket processing. But the tickets were on sale for $60 at the counter for same day purchase, as well. Go figure…
  • Parking: The entire neighborhood becomes a parking lot. Almost every house will rent out their drive way for a charge of $20-$40 per parking spot. So, plan to carry money for parking and car pool as much as you can.
  • Food: You are allowed take food inside. Since the food they sell inside is very unhealthy, I recommend taking your own food and picnic.
  • Picnic: And if you want to stay the whole day, take a beach chair, and blanket to spread for picnic.
  • Weather: This year it ended up being cold and rainy. The ponchos would have come in handy too.
  • Clothing: And do wear the best hat you have.


We got there by noon-ish to make sure we catch both Macklemore (1:45PM) and Pitbull (3:45PM) concerts.

While there were 11 other small races, the last and main Kentucky derby was at around 6PM. And our crew was all equipped with their calculation for betting.


They sell the book with odds and race details for $6 at the event. But, if you are smart, you can print them online for free too.

Our group had a mix of results: some loses and some wins…some smart bets and some irresponsible bets…and some non-gamblers as a matter of principle….