Beneath overcast skies, runner-up contender Cloud Computing upset betting favorites Always Dreaming and Classic Empire in Saturday’s 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Always Dreaming—the Kentucky Derby winner that was favored to win the Preakness at odds of 4:5—lagged behind in the final furlong, making way for Cloud Computing to charge to victory.
Though Cloud Computing’s win eliminates the potential for a Triple Crown victory—a feat that hasn’t occurred since American Pharaoh won all three races in 2015—the horse’s success marks a major win for jockey Javier Castellano, trainer Chad Brown, and owner Seth Klarman, who just so happens to be from Mt. Washington.
“[Klarman] grew up in Baltimore,” Brown told NBC Sports after the race. “He used to come out, buy a seat, and watch racing—that’s how he got involved. He’s very deserving.”
Aside from all of the excitement happening on the track, the infield at Maryland horseracing’s marquee event—which drew a crowd of more than 125,000 this year—also saw plenty of celebrations. In true InfieldFest fashion, fans trekked through the muddy terrain to sip cocktails, down drafts of beer, and jam to live music on two stages.
Organizers with The Maryland Jockey Club make it a priority to mix up the lineup each year, featuring both national names and local acts. In keeping with that objective, this year’s bill of performers included country singer-songwriter Sam Hunt, EDM superstar Zedd, honky-tonk hitmakers LOCASH (a duo which includes Baltimore native Chris Lucas), and pop-punk rockers Good Charlotte—whose frontmen Benji and Joel Madden hail from Waldorf.
“I always wanted to go to Preakness,” said Joel, as he raised a red Solo cup addressing the crowd. “I just want to raise a glass and propose a toast to the host-with-the-most. It’s good to be home.”
In between performing familiar favorites (think “The Anthem” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”), the band also played a few new songs off of their 2016 album The Youth Authority. At one point, the rockers even initiated a “Seven Nation Army” chant to express their love for the Baltimore Ravens.
Speaking of the birds, many of them (including kicker Justin Tucker) were spotted roaming around the infield Saturday. Other noteworthy attendees included Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, and actor Kevin Spacey—who films his Netflix show House of Cards in Charm City and performed the traditional “riders up” command just before post time.
From revelers donning the state’s colors in the infield to fans sipping traditional Black-Eyed Susan cocktails in the clubhouse, the 2017 Preakness Stakes were full of Maryland pride.
Benji Madden summed it up best as he concluded Good Charlotte’s set on the DuKuyper stage: “We started this band 21 years ago in Charles County,” he said, thanking the community for its support. “Every single night that we’re on stage playing shows, we always feel so grateful to be from Maryland.”