Pimlico Racecourse is in Baltimore, Maryland and is the home to the Preakness Stakes. There has been racing taking place at the track since 1870 and the current owner is the Stronach Group. It is one of the leading horse racing venues on the East Coast, holding many other notable races.
Ticket prices will vary widely depending on what race meeting you are looking to attend at the track. For example, the biggest race day of the year at the track is the Preakness Stakes. Tickets will start from $80 and go all the way up to an average price of about $270. For all other race days, admission prices will be a lot lower at the Pimlico Racecourse.
The track at the Pimlico Racecourse is one-mile in length, oval-shaped and it is a dirt surface. There is also a turf track inside of the dirt track and it is seven furlongs in length. At the facility, there is enough stable room for 1,000 horses, with the overall capacity of the venue being 120,000. About half of the total capacity is made up by the infield.
Pimlico Racecourse got its name from back in the 1660s after English settlers in the area named the region after an old tavern in London. It has a nickname of “Old Hilltop” due to the small hill in the infield where a lot of trainers and race enthusiasts gather to watch the racing.
It was in 1870 that racing began at the Pimlico Racecourse, with Preakness being the winner of the first-ever Dinner Party Stakes. It was in 1873 that the Preakness Stakes was named in honour of this horse.
“The Great Race” took place on October 24, 1877 at the Pimlico Racecourse. The United States Congress closed down so the members could go to the track and watch this race. It took place over two and a half miles and was made up of three champions. About 20,000 people watched Parole come out on top.
Over the years, the Pimlico Racecourse has survived many external events such as the Great Fire of Baltimore in 1904 and the Great Depression and numerous riots in the region. It also made it through the period of Prohibition and the anti-gambling push of 1910.
It was in 2007 that a record was set at the Pimlico Racecourse after more than 121,000 people turned up on the day of the Preakness Stakes. This was the most attended sporting event in the history of Maryland. On that day, more than $87 million in bets were placed at the track.
It was in March 2010 that Penn National and MI Development bought the Pimlico Racecourse. It then changed hands in June 2011, with the current owners, the Stronach Group taking over. In February 2017, the Maryland Stadium Authority issued a study calling for renovation work at the facility in the region of $250 million. It was in 2018 that a timing system based on GPS began to be used.
There are a number of notable races that take place every year at the Pimlico Racecourse. The biggest of these is the Grade I Preakness Stakes. It has been taking place since 1873. It is the second leg of the Triple Crown, taking place after the Kentucky Derby and before the Belmont Stakes.
There are a couple of Grade II races that take place at the venue, namely the:
- Dixie Stakes and
- the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
A handful of Grade III races include the:
- Pimlico Special,
- Gallorette Stakes and
- the Maryland Sprint Stakes.
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