The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the ‘Triple Crown’ and is held every year on the third Sunday in May at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade 1 stakes race for three year olds contested over a dirt track 1 3/16 in length. The Preakness is usually the second most attended horse race in North America, behind only the Kentucky Derby. Tickets for the 2011 Preakness Stakes are on sale now at a variety of price points.
Although tickets are generally fairly easy to come by, there is a good deal of demand for the most sought after ‘premium’ seating accommodations. These include the Preakness Village and Chalet, as well as a variety of corporate and individual tent packages. Additionally, the Clubhouse Turn suites and individual seating tickets are highly sought after as is the ‘Turfside Terrace’ seating. At this stage of the game it’s going to be difficult to get admission to any of these areas through official channels making the best option a ticket broker. They’re easy to find online or in the classified ads in any major city newspaper.
In addition, there is a large number of grandstand and ‘top of the stretch’ reserved seating options available through the Pimlico Race Course box office or Ticketmaster. Both these reserved seats as well as the aforementioned ‘premium seating’ are also available as part of a two day package along with the Friday’s Black Eyed Susan racing card. At last report there were still some of these packages available, though the most desirable seating will probably also need to be secured on the secondary market.
Finally, there will be general admission available for access to the notoriously rowdy Pimlico infield. Although the track has tried to get a handle on the most excessive behavior, the infield still has a vibe more typical to a college frat party than a thoroughbred horse race. General admission tickets can be purchased in advance via Ticketmaster or at the box office on race day.
If you’d rather watch the Preakness from the comfort of your own home, the race will be shown on NBC with additional coverage provided by ESPN and the all horse racing network HRTV. Preakness betting will be available at any decent simulcast facility as well as at most Internet betting sites.