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Baltimore Diner

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Preakness dining, from the 1930s to Mike Isabella [Pictures]

It all started, in 1868, with a dinner party. Milton H. Sanford's late-summer party at the Union Hall Hotel in Saratoga, N.Y., was apparently such a great time that the guests decided it needed to be commemorated. There ought to be a stakes race, one guest proposed, the Dinner Party Stakes. Well, absolutely there ought, agreed Gov. Oden Bowie of Maryland. And I'll build a racetrack for it in Baltimore. Two years later, the Dinner Party Stakes was run at the inaugural meeting of the Maryland Jockey Club at the new Pimlico Race Course. The winner was a horse named Preakness, who would be honored in 1873 when Pimlico introduced its stakes race for three-year-olds. One hundred and forty years later, the Dinner Party Stakes is now the Dixie Stakes, which is held at Pimlico on the same day as the Preakness. And food still plays an important role in the Preakness story. Take a look. InfieldFest concerts Infield party scene Infield debauchery Celebrities Fashion Bikini contest Also see: VIDEOS | Your #PREAKNESS PHOTOS | ALL GALLERIES
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