On an ideal day with the temperature in the 80s, Pimlico approached, but did not break, its attendance and betting records for Preakness Day.
With inter-track wagering at Rosecroft Raceway and off-track betting at The Cracked Claw factored in Notebook
for the first time, the total state attendance of 97,641 was the second highest for the state's most prestigious racing event.
The record, 98,896, was set in 1989 for the duel of Sunday Silence and Easy Goer.
Yesterday's state handle of $7,577,777 was also second highest to 1989, and the total bet on the Preakness itself, $2,269,946, ranked fifth all time.
At Pimlico, 85,495 wagered $5,522,711 to lead the procession to the window. In addition, $3,663,920 was bet at commingling outlets throughout the country.
Senor Speedy speedy
Senor Speedy was overwhelming in the $150,000 Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup.
In probably the most impressive performance on yesterday's card, Senor Speedy overcame some physical problems and an objection by runner-up jockey Greg Hutton on He Is Risen to win the 6-furlong event in 1 minute, 9 3/5 seconds, only three-fifths of a second off the track record.
"The horse ran today with three quarter cracks [in his hoof]," said owner Robert Perez. "That's his trouble. He gets them all the time and sometimes we have to take time off with him."
"He settled back as he always does," said jockey Jerry Bailey, who rode Sea Hero to the Kentucky Derby winner's circle. "Then he had a tremendous finish. As for the foul claim, I think we just went by that horse too fast."
Root Boy in a romp
Root Boy, with Preakness jockey Herb McCauley in the saddle, broke alertly and went on to romp by 4 1/2 lengths in the $75,000 Crown Central Petroleum Never Bend Handicap.
Sand Lizard, the 7-5 choice from Loblolly Stable who finished fourth in the Oaklawn Handicap, never got close to the lead and ran a dull fourth.
McCarron on winner
With a flawless trip under Chris McCarron, Triple Crown nominee Raglan Road came from off the pace and won the $50,000 Amtote Sir Barton Stakes by a length.
Raglan Road rallied from eighth in the nine-horse field and overtook long shot Premier Commander in the final eighth of a mile to win for a $15.40 mutuel.
It was the first stakes victory for Raglan Road, whose only previous score this year came in an $18,500 allowance in the slop at Laurel March 5.
Carney's Kid draws away
Favored Carney's Kid chased pace-setting Have You Testified for six furlongs, then took over to draw away to a three-length triumph over My Man Pedro in the $25,000 Maryland Million Handicap, the first stakes of the card.
Baltimore police reported an unusually low number of arrests at Pimlico.
Only 10 people were arrested, two for assault and the rest for disorderly conduct, said Officer Richard Price of the Northwestern District. A typical Preakness usually brings an arrest total two or three times that number.
"It's not bad for Preakness Day. I would consider it a low number, considering there were 90,000 people," Price said.
He said Pimlico officials have taken a number of steps in recent years, including raising the price of infield tickets and prohibiting ladders and bottles, that might have contributed to the relative peace.