Preakness 2013: Breaking Down What Makes Saturday's Festivities Unique

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2013

May 19, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; A general view of the infield prior to the running of the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.  Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Preakness Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, and the excitement over the 138th edition of the event dubbed "The People’s Race" and its surrounding festivities has the horse-racing community and sports fans in general at a fever pitch.

The race itself is the second leg of the illustrious Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing, and laying a few hard-earned dollars on horses like Kentucky Derby winner Orb adds an element of intrigue to an event that is already entertaining.

Add in the nonstop party that is InfieldFest—a multiday extravaganza that features concerts, excellent food and an endless supply of beer—and the events surrounding the actual race are almost as exciting as the less-than-two-minute sprint.

If you’ve never experienced the wild nature of the Preakness Stakes and InfieldFest, this is something everyone must add to their bucket list and witness at least once.


Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md.

When: Saturday, May 18

Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET

Purse: $1 million

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports


2013 Preakness Stakes Layout

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Orb Joel Rosario Claude McGaughey 1-1
2  Goldencents Kevin Krigger Doug O'Neill 8-1
3 Titletown Five Julien Leparoux
D. Wayne Lukas 30-1
4 Departing Brian Hernandez Jr. Albert M. Stall Jr. 6-1
5 Mylute Rosie Napravnik  Tom Amoss 5-1
6 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 15-1
7 Will Take Charge  Mike Smith D. Wayne Lukas 12-1
8 Govenor Charlie Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 12-1
9 Itsmyluckyday John Velazquez Eddie Plesa Jr.

* Current odds can be found at


The Race

The Kentucky Derby has the moniker "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports," but the Preakness Stakes is run on the slightly shorter track at Pimlico Race Course (1 3/16 miles).

If the Derby is the fastest two minutes, the Preakness is even faster.

The Preakness is always where Triple Crown hopes are continued or destroyed—unlike the Belmont Stakes, which can become meaningless if the Derby winner losses at Pimlico—and the 2013 edition of the race is no different.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb comes into the Preakness Stakes as the favorite to win (h/t, but a talented group of horses looking to steal the show and stifle a Triple Crown attempt will make this one of the best races fans see all year.

Orb drew the first post position for Saturday’s race—a spot that has only won the Preakness once since 1961—and now the field will have an even better chance of running down the favorite and making this a very interesting ending.

With post positions set and betting lines taking shape, the excitement over the second leg of the Triple Crown has hard-core and casual horse-racing fans alike ready for the unpredictable action from Pimlico Race Course.

Predicted Winner: Orb


The Infield

The negative perceptions of the Preakness infield stem from the track’s old bring-your-own-beer policy, but since moving away from that and only serving alcohol at the proper stands, the party has taken on a concert festival vibe.

Welcome to what we now know as InfieldFest.

Pimlico coordinators saw the opportunity with the big crowds, and with the idea of drawing in younger fans, officials have added two stages to the infield and contracted some of the biggest stars in music to make this one of the most rocking parties of the year.

With the Goo Goo Dolls headlining the Black-Eyed Susan Day show Friday night and a packed schedule for Preakness Day on Saturday—Pitbull headlining the main stage and Chevelle headlining the Jägermeister stage—this is the kind of raucous party fans won’t want to miss.

Besides the great music, the food will be Baltimore’s best—offering everything from seafood to steak—and the cold beer will flow freely. This is an adult atmosphere that isn’t for everyone, but it’s the kind of party that no one ever forgets.

InfieldFest is always one of the craziest parties in the sports world, and if you’ve never attended the event before, this is something every sports fan must experience.