Officials reported record attendance at the Preakness on Saturday. That’s a shock given the rainy conditions, but the Preakness attracts die-hard fans. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these revellers from their appointed rounds. My husband and I were lucky enough to go for the first time, thanks to an invitation from The Stronach Group. A former Ralph Lauren creative director from Beverly Hills, California designed the space inside the tent. It was jaw-dropping.
We had to leave early to attend a graduation (it’s that time of year), but the crowds stalled our exit. We were stopped by security to allow a parade of Under Armour royalty to pass.
Look who stopped by The Stronach Group Tent once we left! Typical.
The Preakness official press release about the weekend gives all the details:
The Maryland Jockey Club announced that Saturday’s 141st Preakness Stakes (G1) set all-time records for total handle and attendance for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.A record crowd of 135,256 watched at historic Pimlico Race Course as Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Exaggerator handed Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby (G1) winner Nyquist his first defeat in nine career starts.Total handle on Pimlico’s 14-race program, which featured seven other stakes, was a record $94,127,434, eclipsing the previous mark set in 2005 of $91,028,704. Total handle was up 10.8 percent over 2015 and attendance was up 2.5 percent over last year’s 131,680.Total in-state wagering was up 3.1 percent.Saturday’s Preakness came after a record crowd of 47,956 attended Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Day program. The crowd wagered $19.4 million over the previous year, a 4.7 percent increase.“It was a truly remarkable weekend,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “The crowds were fantastic, the racing incredible, and once again InfieldFest drew some of the top performers in the world. We want to thank our horsemen and fans and the state of Maryland for setting a new standard at the Preakness.“Our record handle and attendance is further indication of the revitalization of Maryland racing. We will continue our efforts to reinvigorate Thoroughbred racing in the Mid-Atlantic.”