Talk to D. Wayne Lukas or Bob Baffert or Doug O'Neill or any of the other trainers and owners — and not just the big-name guys. They'll tell you no one makes them feel more welcome and caters to their every need better than the Pimlico people.
O'Neill, he was like a walking billboard for Preakness hospitality last year.
He came to Pimlico early with Derby winner I'll Have Another and couldn't stop gushing about the red carpet treatment given him and his team.
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Pimlico, Baltimore, MD, USA
What made things even better for Team O'Neill, of course, was that I'll Have Another went out and won the Preakness, surging past Bodemeister to win by a neck. (Then came that shocking incident two weeks later right before the Belmont Stakes, when O'Neill's horse was scratched with a sore tendon in its left foreleg, sadly ending its Triple Crown bid.)
But no one will be dwelling on that this week in the run-up to the Preakness.
If the weather cooperates and the feature race is exciting, 120,000 people will leave homely Old Hilltop on Saturday thinking they had a fine time.
That's all anyone could ask for.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."