Bob Baffert’s National Treasure won the Preakness States hours after another horse trained by the Hall of Famer was euthanized on the track due to a racing injury. Kentucky Derby winner Mage finished third. With his defeat, there will not be a Triple Crown winner for a fifth consecutive year.

Below is The Baltimore Banner’s coverage of the historic event, filled with stories from the track, photos of the unique fashion and much more.

Mage owners enjoy the ride, despite losing shot at Triple Crown

By Cadence Quaranta

Cary Tate, 57, drove 11 hours from Indiana to see Mage race. He’d bought shares of the horse and had his hopes set high.

Saturday night, despite watching the horse come in third during the Preakness Stakes, he still donned a Mage hat and said he’d had a great experience.

“We can’t hang our head at third,” he said. “We wanted first but third will do, and we hope to see him race again.”

The day was one of highs and lows, he said. He’d first seen on Twitter that Mage might get scratched because of a cut above his eye, then found out it had happened earlier in the week and the horse would still run.

“So we’re just happy we got to see him race,” he said.

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National Treasure wins the 148th Preakness Stakes, giving Baffert record 8th victory

By Brandon Weigel

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert notched his record-breaking eighth Preakness win on Saturday with National Treasure, a promising colt that was finally able to tap into his potential in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

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Horse advocates set up protest outside Pimlico Race Course

By Cadence Quaranta


On Saturday afternoon, signs that read “There’s no excuse for animal abuse,” and “horse cemetery” were planted outside the Pimlico Race Course, in view of incoming traffic.

Earlier that day, around 50 people had stood on the corner of West Northern Parkway and Pimlico Road, as well as all the way up the street for around two and a half hours, holding similar signs and protesting with the goal of ending horse racing for good, said Jennifer Sully, Maryland Organizer and Board Member for Horseracing Wrongs, the group that organized the protest.

“We’re here to advocate for the horses,” Sully said. “We just have to speak up for the horses and let people know that these horses are dying.”

An average of 35 horses are killed every year at Maryland tracks, the group learned from filing FOIAs requests to the Maryland Racing Commission. On Saturday, Havnameltdown, the horse that was favored in the Chick Langs Stakes, was euthanized after throwing jockey Luis Saez and suffering an injury. Sully said she sadly wasn’t surprised.

“The horses will continue to keep dying until horse racing ends,” she said.

The group goes to either Laurel Park or Pimlico almost every weekend, she said. Sometimes they’re protesting, sometimes handing out leaflets or talking to people in their cars, Sully said.

“Rise up, take a stand, horse racing should be banned,” they chanted Saturday, Sully said.

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‘This is Maryland’s day’

By Pamela Wood
Gov. Wes Moore at The Preakness Stakes.
Gov. Wes Moore at The Preakness Stakes.


Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was all smiles at his first Preakness in his official capacity.

With the threat of rain having vanished, he said he was pleased to see tens of thousands of people streaming into Pimlico.

“This is Maryland’s day,” the Democratic governor said. “I mean, not just the whole country but the whole world is looking at us right now.”

Moore said he’d also given serious thought to his role in the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase to the winning team, as the first Black governor to do so in a sport where there is a rich but often unknown history of African American success.

“Oftentimes, when people think about horse racing, they don't think about the fact that some of the most legendary jockeys, some of the most legendary trainers have actually been African American,” Moore said. “African Americans have a long and a proud history inside of the horse racing industry.”

Handing over the trophy, the governor said, is “very humbling.”
“I’m hopeful that, for younger generations, they can see that and know that this industry is for them, too, but also I'm doing it in a tribute to all those who came before me as well,” Moore said.

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Horse health a concern

By Pamela Wood


The horse racing industry is grappling with concerns of equine safety, an issue that wasn’t lost on top government officials at Preakness.

One horse was euthanized on the track at Pimlico earlier in the afternoon, and there were horse deaths at Laurel Park this spring and in the run-up to the Kentucky Derby.

But horse health and safety issues shouldn’t hold back plans to reinvigorate Maryland’s racing industry, possibly through a renovation of Pimlico, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said.

“I think the safety concerns are a little separate,” Scott told The Baltimore Banner. “We know the industry itself is having that, and I know they’re trying to put [in] regulations to handle that. But that should not shy away from the historical nature of these investments here in Baltimore.”

Asked about horse safety, Gov. Wes Moore said it’s something he’s “very concerned about.”

“It’s both the health and safety of the animals, and it's also the health and safety of the jockeys,” he said. “And I know that this is something that is not just at Pimlico and Laurel. They're dealing with these challenges in parks all over the country.”

Health and safety will need to be part of the discussions as Maryland’s industry plots its path forward, Moore said.

“We are going to make sure that is going to be of the utmost priority, in terms of how we are investing in a track and investing in conditions that are not … harmful for the animals and harmful for the riders,” Moore said.

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For one of Mage’s many co-owners, the waiting is the hardest part

By Clara Longo de Freitas
Sam Barone, a co-owner of favorite and Derby winner, Mage.
Sam Barone, a co-owner of favorite and Derby winner, Mage.


It was the name that piqued his interest.

Sam Barone’s dog Maggie had recently died when he was looking to buy a share of a racehorse last December. So, when he saw “Mage” as one of the contenders, he decided to look into it more.

He never thought he would be where he is today, with the Kentucky Derby champion trying to win Preakness. His family in Michigan built racetracks in the 1970s, and his father was a track carpenter. Now, Barone is one of the roughly 380 members of Commonwealth, a micro-share company that owns a stake in Mage.

Barone knows Mage is a favorite to win, but he won’t let his enthusiasm show too much. Horse racing attracts superstitious people, and he doesn’t want to be overconfident, he said.

Barone has his rituals — he is wearing his lucky pin, “CW,” that stands for Commonwealth. He has a rose in his pocket that he brought from the Kentucky Derby.

It’s just been a lot of anxiety, to have to wait while also containing himself.
“Hopefully, we’re celebrating at the end of the day,” he said.

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The life of a groomer the day of Preakness

By Clara Longo de Freitas
Hector Castellanos approaches one of the horses he takes care of, a gray Arabian.
Hector Castellanos approaches one of the horses he takes care of, a gray Arabian.


Inside the stables at Pimlico, Hector Castellanos approaches one of the horses he takes care of, a gray Arabian that won a race about four years ago. He has been working with horses since 1990, when he had just moved to the United States from Guatemala in his early 20s.

Castellanos could have gotten a different job at this point. “But I don’t know,” he said. “There’s just something about horses.”

Castellanos once was the only Latino groomer in Dubai, but that isn’t the case in Pimlico. Two of the groomers who work with him are from Mexico. Two others are from Argentina. He travels to Baltimore from Texas every year, staying for about a week, hoping to win.

It’s a competition, of course, but they are friends too. Spending time day in and out in the stables makes it easier to get along. And even if they are running against each other, they do have a consensus— to cheer for Latinos no matter what. This year, he said, he hopes for Luis Castellanos to win. (They are not relatives, though he likes to joke that the jockey is his great-great-grandson.)

It takes a risk to leave their home countries for the chance of winning, of making it, in the United States. “For us, it’s like a dream,” he said, one for which they are willing to take a risk.

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Spotted: Celebrities at The Preakness Stakes

By Paul Mancano
Former Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. was spotted at the VIP tents at the 148th Preakness Stakes.
Chef Bobby Flay talks with another guest.
Odell Beckham, Jr., Gayle King, Dawn Flythe Moore, Kevin Liles, CEO of 300 Entertainment; and Belinda Stronach, Stronach chairwoman.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh at The Preakness Stakes.

At Preakness, politicians press the flesh, hope for a brighter future for Maryland racing

By Pamela Wood
Mayor Brandon Scott arrives at the 148th Preakness Stakes. (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner)
Mayor Brandon Scott arrives at the 148th Preakness Stakes. (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner)

As politicians mingled and wooed donors and business executives at the 148th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, they once again considered how to keep the thoroughbred horse racing industry in the state alive.

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Excitement for Bruno Mars builds as Zack Bia gets the crowd to move

By Taji Burris


DJ Zack Bia took the stage at 3:35 p.m. to a larger audience and sunnier day. He played a mixture of pop, EDM and rap songs for a noticeably more intoxicated crowd.

The popular “Play Hard” track by David Guetta hyped the fans, but the real highlight came immediately after. Once Bia dropped Lil Uzi Vert’s ear-catching “Just Wanna Rock” single, attendees of all ages were inspired to take the infield for a dance. Full families and college kids alike did their best to do the popular social media dance, bringing smiles to everyone watching.

Toward the front of the crowd, a small mosh pit started. Attendees jumped and danced as Bia let classics from the 2010s such as Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba” and Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d city” ring through the speakers.

Bia then teased the fans with a preview of a Bruno Mars song. He played about a minute-long snippet of Mars’ 2010 smash single “Billionaire” as they impatiently awaited the singer’s performance.

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Exhibit, statue at Pimlico honor Secretariat on 50th anniversary of his historic Triple Crown

By Brenna Smith
Preakness attendees pose outside life-sized sculpture of Secretariat on May 20, 2023. (Brenna Smith/The Baltimore Banner)
Preakness attendees pose outside life-sized sculpture of Secretariat on May 20, 2023. (Brenna Smith/The Baltimore Banner)


This year marks the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic Triple Crown in 1973, and he still holds the track record in the Preakness Stakes.

To commemorate the occasion, Pimlico is hosting a Secretariat exhibit from the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame on the colt’s sweep of America’s top series for 3-year-olds. Outside the clubhouse entrance stands a sculpture of the horse mid-stride.

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Two fans enjoy Preakness with a wrestling championship belt

By Cadence Quaranta
Two fans enjoy Preakness with a wrestling championship belt. (Cadence Quaranta/The Baltimore Banner)
Two fans enjoy Preakness with a wrestling championship belt. (Cadence Quaranta/The Baltimore Banner)

On the first floor of the grandstand Saturday afternoon was Brendon Sullivan, 41, standing with a replica of a WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt strung across his shoulder.

“Drunk people either love it or they want to fight you,” he said. But for the most part the Preakness crowd has been nice.

Already Saturday, he and girlfriend Amber Vaillancourt, 36, had done about a dozen photo ops. People want to take pictures with the belt to send to their grandkids or to post on social media, they said.

The staff loves it, too, they said. When people ask if the belt is real, Sullivan tells them his wrestling name is “Brady Hammers” and Vaillancourt sometimes pretends she’s his manager. But really he bought it online for around $400.

There’s no reason you can’t love both wrestling and horse racing, they said. Today is Sullivan’s “Triple Crown,” he said. He’s already been to the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, and this is his first Preakness.

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Two best friends placed a bet last minute, and won

By Cadence Quaranta and Clara Longo de Freitas
Majorie Harris and Carla Carroll at the 148th Preakness Stakes. (Cadence Quaranta/The Baltimore Banner)
Majorie Harris and Carla Carroll at the 148th Preakness Stakes. (Cadence Quaranta/The Baltimore Banner)


At their first Preakness, best friends Majorie Harris and Carla Carroll had already made a successful bet. Saturday afternoon, as Ryvit raced to first place in the The Chick Lang Stakes, the two cheered and high-fived one another. They’d randomly bet on the horse last minute and pocketed about $64. How did Harris make the choice?

“I have no idea,” Harris said. “Maybe it’s the spiritual connection I have with animals.”

The two had started riding horses at 6 and 7 years old. Horses are gentle creatures, Harris says, and she loves them. They are obedient and fiercely loyal and magnificent. When you get to know a horse, they said, there is an immediate connection.

The friends now have a dream: to own their own stable one day for former racehorses, to keep them safe and give them a great life after they retire.

The two stood on the first floor of the grandstand, dolled up with a floral theme. They each named their outfits— flowers everywhere for Harris, spring and bloom for Carroll. Harris wore a dress with a flower pattern in light pink and purple, with big white peonies on her hair to honor her grandfather. Carroll wore a pink and black dress and a hat with what looked like carnations.

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Photo: Jockeys and horses take to the track at The Preakness Stakes

By The Baltimore Banner Staff
Ryvit with Tyler Gaffalione wins the Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse on May 20, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)
Ryvit with Tyler Gaffalione wins the Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse on May 20, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

The bets have been placed and the preparations are over. It’s time to take to the track. Here are scenes from all the horse racing at Pimlico during the 148th Preakness Stakes.

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Photos: From the infield to the grandstand, scenes from Preakness 148

By The Baltimore Banner Staff
Scenes around Pimlico Race Course during the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 20, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Scenes around Pimlico Race Course during the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 20, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Fans filled Pimlico, facing chances of rain, to take in the sights at the running of the 148th Preakness Stakes.

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Jockey injured, Baffert horse euthanized after breakdown in 6th race on Preakness day

By Chris Korman
Trainer Bob Baffert is interviewed after his horse, Arabian Lion, won the Sir Barton Stakes at the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)
Trainer Bob Baffert is interviewed after his horse, Arabian Lion, won the Sir Barton Stakes at the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Havnameltdown, favored in the Chick Lang Stakes on Preakness day, was euthanized after throwing jockey Luis Saez and suffering an injury on the far turn in the sixth race on Saturday.

Saez, a leading jockey in the U.S., was strapped to a backboard and taken away via ambulance to a local hospital. He was conscious and complaining of leg pain, according to Pimlico officials.

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Photos: Fancy hats on display at The Preakness Stakes

By The Baltimore Banner Staff
Vennita Harris of Baltimore, watches the races at the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)
Vennita Harris of Baltimore, watches the races at the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 20, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

Men and women alike dressed the part with fancy hats and dapper attire at The Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

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For one stylish fan, following the races is an international affair

By Clara Longo de Freitas
Steven Hettinger in a muted baby pink suit, matching cap and floral tie at Preakness. (Clara Longo de Freitas/The Baltimore Banner)
Steven Hettinger in a muted baby pink suit, matching cap and floral tie at Preakness. (Clara Longo de Freitas/The Baltimore Banner)

The muted baby pink suit, matching cap and floral tie were custom made for a horse race in England, Steven Hettinger said.

He had initially envisioned a bright red suit as a nod to his alma mater, the Ohio State University. But thinking the end result was too much, he opted for something a bit more discreet. He is glad he did.

“I got a lot of compliments,” he said, adding that one person said he was the best-dressed person of the race in England.

No compliment could top that, besides maybe being the best dressed in the Oscars, he said.

All it took was one race back in college and he was hooked. He has traveled the world chasing the sport, attending races in Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland and Australia. Baltimore, though, is a special place— he has been traveling to Pimlico since 1989 to watch Preakness. It has become an annual trip where he stays in the Timonium area and comes to the track.

“I love coming to Baltimore,” he said.

Sometimes he is lucky, Hettinger said.

“He makes more money out of this than at his actual job,” joked a man next to him, who has known Hettinger and come to the race with him for years.

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Baltimore’s own DJ Quicksilva puts the “live” in Preakness LIVE

By Taji Burris

DJ Quicksilva took the stage and immediately captured the eyes and ears of attendees. More gathered to surround the stage immediately once he began his mix.

Quicksilva shouted out the Orioles and Ravens, causing the crowd to erupt with cheers. He followed that up by mentioning people celebrating their birthday today and played 50 Cent’s “In da Club,” drawing more applause from the crowd.

Fan favorite singles from the 2000s, such as Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” and Usher’s “Yeah!”, gave attendees even more lively music to dance to. The hometown DJ is the perfect boost of energy that Preakness LIVE needed.

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Preakness LIVE attendees are excited to see Bruno Mars

By Taji Burris

London DJ Martin 2 Smoove has been spinning since 10:30 a.m. to a relatively calm crowd. Pink, orange and green lights highlight the stage as crew members still set it up.

Fans are scattered in front of the stage nodding their heads to Smoove’s mix of songs including tracks from Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Beyoncé and more.

Retro basketball jerseys and short sleeve button-ups are the popular look for the men in the crowd, while dresses, rompers and jeans are preferred by the women on this cloudy day.

Dante Bucci, a Philadelphia native, traveled two hours for the second year in a row just to see the musical performances. This year’s headliner is pop star Bruno Mars.

“It was a great time last year and I’m looking forward to this year even more, especially getting the chance to see Bruno,” he said.

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Trainer Kenny McPeek, winner of the 2020 Preakness, keeps busy at Pimlico

By Brenna Smith

Trainer Kenny McPeek is busy this Preakness weekend. Between Friday and Saturday’s races, he has seven horses competing, one of which, Rattle N Roll, won the Grade 3 Pimlico Special on Friday.

McPeek has been in horse racing for the past 38 years and has built a sprawling business that encompasses training, breeding, purchasing, and even a racing news app called Horse Races Now. He also has deep ties to Pimlico, where he worked his first Preakness in the late 1980s.

In 2020, his filly Swiss Skydancer battled Kentucky Derby winner Authentic down the stretch during the Preakness Stakes, winning by a neck. The three Triple Crown races were run out of order that year due to the pandemic.

Her time of 1:53.28 is the second fastest in the race’s history, behind only 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat. She’s one of only six fillies to win Preakness.

As the horses started to pile into the paddock in preparation for the third race of the day, McPeek had to run: There was too much to do. He pointed to a tall, brown horse making his way into a stall.

“That’s one of my horses,” he said as he turned to leave.

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Fans arrive at Pimlico Race Course for 148th Preakness Stakes

By Meredith Cohn
Shaska Davis from Houston, TX tries on a hat at Hats by Marjae at Pimlico during Preakness on May 20, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Shaska Davis from Houston, TX tries on a hat at Hats by Marjae at Pimlico during Preakness on May 20, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

The sun is peeking out through the clouds, the cars are filing into the grassy lots outside of Pimlico Race Course in North Baltimore and the big hats are going on. It’s Preakness day in Baltimore.

The second leg of the Triple Crown wasn’t for hours and the Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favorite Mage was relaxing in the barn. But the die-hards were beginning to trickle into the grandstands.

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Mage’s owner shoots down injury rumor, says favorite is ‘ready to race’

By Kyle Goon
Mage works out Wednesday with exercise rider J.J. Delgado at Pimlico Race Course, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)
Mage works out Wednesday with exercise rider J.J. Delgado at Pimlico Race Course, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

A rumor that Kentucky Derby winner Mage might be in doubt for the Preakness Stakes was persistent enough that his owner took to Twitter to comment.

Ramiro Restrepo, one of Mage’s owners, said that Mage bumped his forehead in his stall on Thursday and received veterinary care, but will be ready to come out of the gates Saturday. Restrepo called the wound “superficial” and said his training wasn’t interrupted.

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‘I’m used to the craziness’: Vendors ready for Preakness crowds

By Brenna Smith
JoAnn Litsinger has worked in Guest Services at Pimilico for decades. Here she speaks to a Baltimore Banner reporter about her experiences on May 20, 2023 (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner).
JoAnn Litsinger has worked in Guest Services at Pimilico for decades. Here she speaks to a Baltimore Banner reporter about her experiences on May 20, 2023 (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner).

Calmly sitting in her guest services booth the morning of Preakness, JoAnn Litsinger isn’t too worried about today. She’s a 45-year veteran of Maryland horse racing.

When she was 16, she started selling hot dogs and sodas at Bowie Race Track in 1977. She even married a jockey. And now, Litsinger works year-round in the racing industry helping bettors withdraw cash and place wagers online.

“I’ve been here for so long that I’m used to the craziness,” Litsinger said.

Plus, she added, things have significantly died down since the track banned attendees bringing their own alcohol.

“It’ll be a good time,” she concluded.

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Lifelong friends kick off 50th Preakness

By Brenna Smith

Around 9 a.m. the morning of Preakness, three bespectacled men shuffle into Pimlico.

Horace Liles, Sam Newman and John Taylor do this every year. For several decades now, the men have been making the same trip from North Carolina to Baltimore in hopes of winning big.

Liles has been coming for the longest — totaling 50 years at the Preakness (“Every year except for COVID,” he clarified.)

His first was in 1974. Liles was 24 years old and had to sardine into a small motel room with four other friends. After his first decade, he invited Newman to join. Then, 10 years later, Taylor finally got his invite.

“He’s a rookie,” Liles joked.

They were all co-workers, and have since retired, but their annual trip continues. There used to be five of them: One has since passed and the other is physically unable to make the journey.

So today, they’ll each have a drink in their honor — toasting to a lucky race day, but also knowing there is always next year.

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MedStar doctor will keep a watchful eye on Preakness jockeys

By Meredith Cohn
A jockey is seen during a training session ahead of the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
A jockey is seen during a training session ahead of the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Every year since 2015, there is a special fan on the sidelines at Preakness. Dr. Kelly Ryan doesn’t pick a horse. She’s there for the jockeys.

Ryan, a MedStar Health sports medicine doctor, leads a medical team at Pimlico Race Course that provides emergency and routine care for those who ride and care for the horses.

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Ahead of the race

First Mission scratched from Preakness field day before race

By Kyle Goon
Trainer Brad Cox reacts to the timed workout for First Mission on track during morning workouts at Pimlico Race Course as horses prepare for the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. (Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire)
Trainer Brad Cox reacts to the timed workout for First Mission on track during morning workouts at Pimlico Race Course as horses prepare for the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. (Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire)

One of the top contenders in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, First Mission, was scratched Friday morning, leaving Maryland’s prestigious Triple Crown race with a field of just seven horses.

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Preakness 2023: Analysis of every horse in the race

By The Baltimore Banner Staff
Even with a smaller field, getting the Kentucky Derby winner into Preakness should provide good betting opportunities for long-shot and exotics plays, as well as setting up the storyline for a Triple Crown chase. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)
Even with a smaller field, getting the Kentucky Derby winner into Preakness should provide good betting opportunities for long-shot and exotics plays, as well as setting up the storyline for a Triple Crown chase. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

It first appeared that Mage’s job of defending his Triple Crown chances wouldn’t be getting any easier at Preakness, but some twists in the plan have knocked out strong contenders and left Mage as the only Derby runner to wheel back.

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7 Preakness storylines: The Derby winner is finally here again, but will the crowds return?

By Brandon Weigel
Mage is the first Kentucky Derby winner to run in Preakness with a chance to win the Triple Crown in five years. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)
Mage is the first Kentucky Derby winner to run in Preakness with a chance to win the Triple Crown in five years. (Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

This will be the first year since 2018 that the Kentucky Derby winner has a chance to win Preakness and head to Belmont with a shot at the Triple Crown.

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Perspectives

Commentary: Pimlico area merchants cite progress, but challenges remain

By Yeshiyah Israel
Business and community development in the area surrounding Pimlico Race Course should aim to benefit everyone, every day, not just during the Preakness, Yeshiyah Israel, president of the Pimlico Merchants Association, says. (Jill Fannon for The Baltimore Banner)
Business and community development in the area surrounding Pimlico Race Course should aim to benefit everyone, every day, not just during the Preakness, Yeshiyah Israel, president of the Pimlico Merchants Association, says. (Jill Fannon for The Baltimore Banner)

There are more businesses are owned and operated by merchants in the Pimlico and Park Heights business corridor surrounding Pimlico Race Course. They share a desire to offer their products and services to the many thousands of people who come to their community for the Preakness.

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The Preakness reminds us that Maryland needs a state song. No, not that one.

By Rick Hutzell
Preakness 147. (Shan Wallace/The Baltimore Banner)
Preakness 147. (Shan Wallace/The Baltimore Banner)

A letter to Gov. Wes Moore on how to bring the state together with a song

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Kyle Goon: Coffeewithchris’ Preakness bid gives Maryland training family hope for the ride of a lifetime

By Kyle Goon
Coffeewithchris wins the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park in February 2023. (SNYDER/Courtesy of the Maryland Jockey Club)
Coffeewithchris wins the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park in February 2023. (SNYDER/Courtesy of the Maryland Jockey Club)

Maryland's hopes for the first state-bred champion since 1983 rest on Coffeewithchris, born in Woodbine and trained in Laurel. The long shot also represents a chance for the Salzman family to have a moment in the spotlight amid a business that is shifting around them.

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Many Black residents haven’t felt the Preakness was for them. That’s starting to change.

By John-John Williams IV
Derrick Chase, left, and LaRian Finney, right, are organizers of AfroPreak Lounge at Pimlico Race Course. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Derrick Chase, left, and LaRian Finney, right, are organizers of AfroPreak Lounge at Pimlico Race Course. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Organizers of the Preakness Stakes are trying to make the event more welcoming to Baltimore’s Black residents, including in nearby neighborhoods.

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Commentary: Willie Simms made history at the Preakness 125 years ago

By Mark Allan Williams
Willie Simms celebrating after winning the 1897 Suburban Handicap with Ben Brush. (Keeneland Library Hemment Collection)
Willie Simms celebrating after winning the 1897 Suburban Handicap with Ben Brush. (Keeneland Library Hemment Collection)

Jockey Willie Simms, having won the Kentucky Derby twice and the Belmont Stakes twice in the 1890s, capped off his Hall of Fame career by winning the Preakness aboard Sly Fox in 1898. He remains the only Black jockey over his career to have won all three races that make up what for decades has been recognized as the Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing.

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The Culture Report: The Preakness Live lineup is a tale of two Baltimores

By Lawrence Burney
Megan Thee Stallion performs during Preakness Live in 2022. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images 1/ST)
Megan Thee Stallion performs during Preakness Live in 2022. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images 1/ST)

Last year, having headliners Megan Thee Stallion and Lauryn Hill made it seem like organizers were trying to build a connection with Black Baltimoreans. Pop juggernaut Bruno Mars and electronic dance music duo Sofi Tukker as next weekend’s stars feels like an intentional shift.

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