For many fans, the Preakness is not just about the horses. It's also about clothes.
The Corporate Village - a circle of tents where high-rollers mix and mingle - was the place to see and be seen yesterday. And there was plenty to look at. Hot pink and citrus hues made a strong showing, while black, as usual, was the chic classic.
Some folks shopped months in advance to find the perfect ensemble, while others waited for yesterday's weather forecast before assembling their outfits. The overcast skies didn't help with those decisions, yet some ladies figured their hats could double as umbrellas if the skies opened.
Many hats are Preakness regulars. "I wear mine every year for luck, and I win every year," said Jean Luskin, who donned a black straw hat with polka-dotted ribbon.
Diane Malateska, 52, had a reason for pairing hot pink and black - from her dress and pashmina shawl down to her strappy black sandals and rosy-pink toenails. The colors matched the jockey's silks on Marciano, the Preakness horse she and her husband, David, own.
WBAL-TV account executive Lisa Fairley, 29, found the waiting line into the Corporate Village helped her avoid a fashion faux pas. That's when colleague Laura Deichert discovered the back slit was still stitched closed on Fairley's new fuchsia, lime and melon silk shift. (Deichert came to the rescue with a few nimble tugs on the thread.)
Robbin Martz's birthday comes in handy every year. Because it's May 15, her present from husband Steve is always a new Preakness outfit. This year, Martz, 43, was a vision in powder blue - in a Thierry Mugler suit topped off with a frothy summer chapeau.