The Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore is the home of the Preakness Stakes. It opened its doors in 1870–and that makes Pimlico the second oldest racetrack in the country.
Throughout the decades, visitors to Pimlico Race Course have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Sir Barton, Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Citation, Secretariat and Cigar race their way into history.
Though much has changed at the Pimlico Race Course in its storied past–the infield “hill” isn’t a hill anymore, but the name stuck–you can still get a taste of the glamour of old when you see limousines and even helicopters descending on the grounds for grand races.
Pimlico’s website quotes a former president of the Maryland Jockey Club, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, who said: “Pimlico is more than a dirt track bounded 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.”
A visit to the Pimlico Race Course can including dining as well as watching the excitement of live racing in the Terrace Dining room, or you can watch simulcast racing and live racing in the Sports Palace.Of course there’s plenty of seating in the general admission area.
The Preakness Stakes are coming up in May. It’s the perfect time to visit Pimlico, since it’s the racetrack’s crowning event. Learn more about the Preakness and buy tickets on the Pimlico Preakness website.
Pimlico may be a legendary racetrack, but it’s still welcoming newcomers to the sport. The Pimlico Race Course website features a guide especially for beginners, so you don’t feel completely lost while trying to participate.
Know what the backstretch is? How about “blinkers” or “bullet work”? And don’t worry, “shadow roll” isn’t nearly so ominous as it sounds…it’s just a piece of equipment. Don’t be intimidated by the lingo. There’s a lot of it, but you can read over some of the terms you might hear and brush up on the vocab with a helpful horse racing dictionary on Pimlico’s website.
Find the beginner’s guide, which focuses on how to wager, on the course’s website.
If you’re planning a visit to Pimlico, particularly for the Preakness, you’ll realize that accommodations are key. The Wayside Inn, in nearby historic Ellicott City, is a fantastic home base for all your Baltimore adventures. Download our free area vacation guide to help you plan your trip.
And if you’re planning on sticking around Baltimore before or after visiting Pimlico, we’ve shared loads of information on some of Baltimore’s finest attractions on our blog. The historic ships on the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium, and the Maryland Science Center are just a few family-friendly Baltimore attractions. Of course, Charm City is great for a romantic getaway as well. And there’s nothing more romantic than a stay at Wayside, with a Romantic Getaway Package to round out the atmosphere.