This year marks the second Preakness for both Dave Bowser and his girlfriend, Angela Alexander -- and both expect this experience to be quite different from their first.
Bowser, 28, of Harbor East, first came to Pimlico while in college at Penn State. He said he spent a good amount of time then in the more rowdy infield and decided he'd "hang out on this side today," gesturing toward the grandstands.
"I decided since I'm a big adult, I'll actually dress up a little bit," he said, tugging on his lightly-colored plaid tie.
Alexander, a 29-year-old Silver Spring resident, said her experience in college was similar to Bowser's, and that she too expected to spend less time in the infield this year.
"Now that I'm a little bit older, the experience is different," she said.
The couple was accompanied by a group of friends with whom they'd arrived at the racetrack in a limousine bus. They said they'd made plans to come to the Preakness about two months ago and were looking forward to the races, though neither regularly bet on the horses.
"Well, I usually don't," Alexander conceded. "Maybe I will today. I don't know anything about the horses. I'll probably just pick based on their names."
Even as grown ups, the couple expects to have fun. And while they say they'll stay out of the infield this year, Alexander said the headlining concerts will likely bring her back.
"I want to see Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa," she said, and took a sideways glance at her boyfriend. "Especially (Maroon 5 lead singer) Adam Levine."