140th Preakness Stakes
Hightail it over to the Arlington-Fairfax Elks for the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16,2015. We may be in Virginia, but we know how to party and have a good time for the Preakness!
Post Time: 6:18 p.m. ET
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes and second oldest racetrack in the nation behind Saratoga, opened its doors on October 25, 1870. Pimlico has hosted many racing icons for over a century; legendary horses such as Man o' War, Sir Barton, Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Citation, Secretariat and Cigar have thundered down her stretch in thrilling and memorable competition.
Pimlico was ultimately the result of an interesting dinner party proposition made by Maryland's then Governor, Oden Bowie. In Saratoga, New York in 1868 Bowie and his friends, prominent racing figures, agreed to race horses that were then just yearlings in two years time to commemorate the evening. The winner would host the losers for dinner. Saratoga and the American Jockey Club bid for the event, but Governor Bowie pledged he would build a model racetrack in his home state if the race were to be run in Baltimore. And so, Pimlico was built.
MORE THAN A DIRT TRACK
On its journey to becoming a true national treasure, Pimlico has earned its patina of age. It has weathered small and major wars, recessions, depressions - including the Great Depression of the 1930's - fires, storms, and the simple passage of time. Its vitality has spanned many eras, which included different times and societies, over the course of three centuries.
More than 50 years ago, the youthful president of the Maryland Jockey Club, Alfred G. Vanderbilt. Made an observation that still applies today: "Pimlico is more than a dirt track bound by four streets. It is an accepted American institution, devoted to the best interests of a great sport, graced by time, respected for its honorable past."