Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown bets horses with Maryland ties in Preakness

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown — a candidate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary — says he attended the Preakness Day as an "official state function" rather than a campaign event. He may be duty-bound to attend Maryland's signature horse-racing event, but that didn't prevent Brown and his wife, Karmen, from having some fun.

And placing what he called "low-wager" bets.

Not coincidentally, all of his picks had Maryland connections. Brown went with favorite California Chrome to win the Preakness. Both the dam and one grand-dam of the horse were foaled and raised in Chestertown. Brown picked Ring Weekend — who trains at Fair Hill in Elkton — to place, and Bayern to show. Bayern will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who worked for the late Maryland trainer Dickie Small.

"I've been attending the Preakness, I think, for each of the past eight years, maybe with one or two years off for a family obligation," Brown said. "I love coming to the Preakness. It's a Maryland tradition. Look, It's great for the economy."

The casinos that have opened under the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley and Brown have aided the horse racing industry by boosting the size of purses.

Many roads to Pimlico on Saturday were lined with campaign signs for Brown and other candidates in the June 24 primary. But most of the candidates themselves stayed away. It didn't seem to be the sort of event at which the spectators would pay much attention to politics.