BALTIMORE – Most first time Preakness goers were having a grand time.
Shep Olsen of Richmond, Va. and his fiancee, Katie of Durham, N.C. described themselves as being a little older than much of the crowd. They’re in their mid-thirties.
Shep has been to the Kentucky Derby and wants to attend each of the Triple Crown races.
“You can’t publish it,” Shep joked about his description of the experience. Katie said it was a lot like a state fair.
“We did the infield at the Derby last year. It’s a lot like that, but this is bigger,” Shep said. “And every once in a while, you see a horse.”
Mike Brown of Timonium, Md., has lived in Maryland his entire life. He was with a group of friends from Loyola University.
“I was born and raised in Maryland, so I’m not going to come to the Preakness,” Brown said.
“I’ll be here next year.”
He wasn’t worried about the talk that the Preakness would move to Laurel.
“The Preakness will always be in Baltimore,” he vows.
Julia Simpson, a cosmetology student from Frederick, Md., met up with some friends from Towson University.
“Oh my gosh, probably the best experience I could ever have. There will a lot of people. The energy was high. There were more people than I’ve ever seen at an event like this,” Simpson said
“I did not get to the see the horse race, but I got to see all the music, and all the people that came here to perform. It was awesome. It was the best time of my life.”
Simpson spoke about two hours before the Preakness, and she looked as if she was getting ready to leave.
“Honestly, it was so crazy here, and it was so much that I don’t think that I could continue until tonight, but more the power to everyone that stays,” Simpson said.
Would she come next year?
“One hundred percent.”
Not everyone was having such a good time. In the clubhouse, Pam from Asheville, N.C. stood in an extremely long line for the bathroom and said she got tickets through her husband’s former company.
“It’s pretty grueling,” she said with a smile. “I’m hot and my feet hurt.”
Her party left their hotel at 10 a.m.
“It’s a long day,” she said.
Pam won’t be back.
“No,” she said emphatically. “But I’m sure my husband would come. I will be at a spa or something.”
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