Pimlico Racecourse was officially opened in 1870, and is now run by the Maryland Jockey Club. Through the years, Pimlico Racecourse has developed into one of the most coveted racecourses in the U.S. The racecourse has established itself as one of the venues in Baltimore, Maryland with some of the best hospitality facilities and enlivening horse races. The first race meeting to be held on the racetrack was the Dinner Party Stakes which was won by Preakness. Three years on, the colt would have a race named in its honour; the Preakness Stakes. Since its inception in 1873, the Preakness Stakes has since become one of the most famous races to be held on
Pimlico Racecourse includes a one-mile dirt oval and a turf oval of seven-furlong. The racetrack also includes stables for 1,000 horses with a capacity of 120,000 people and over if you count the infield.
The track got its name from the early English settlers living in Maryland at the time who named it in honour of Olde Ben Pimlico’s Tavern in London. The racecourse is also known as “Old Hilltop” , a nickname it was given due to the small rise in the infield where a lot of thoroughbred trainers as well as race enthusiasts used to gather.
Pimlico racecourse has survived some tough times in the many years it has been running, from several infamous Baltimore riots to the great depression, which hit in the 1930s and the Great Fire of Baltimore. Even so, the racetrack has overcome all the hurdles and attracts large crowds nowadays whenever there is a race meeting. The Preakness is particularly known to attract large attendances. The official attendance in 2007 was 121,263 which set history as the largest crowd to attend a sporting occasion in Maryland. The record-breaking attendance also saw a total of $87.2 million dollars-worth of bets placed.
As for non-racing events, the venue hosted the Virgin Festival for 2 years from 2006 before it changed venues to Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2009. The racecourse has also hosted the Moonrise festival since 2014.