It paints better image

The Baltimore Sun

Pimlico is going uptown this spring. Cleaning up its act, losing the baskets of beer and the binge element in the infield.

That's good. That's win-win for the people who actually want to witness the races without being assaulted by drunken and disorderly types who are there for one reason: to slide into Sunday in a blaze of alcohol and sun.

Yes, this means more money for the track in concessions. But maybe less in gate receipts. Those $50 to $60 fees to get to the infield were exorbitant enough when you could bring in your own booze. Now they're going to be prohibitive to some. Good riddance.

The jockeys will like the move because it should mean no more drunks stumbling over the rail and onto the track to test the breeze as horses gallop past. And perhaps now we'll never have a beer can tossed in the vicinity of the horses.

Might we still have some knuckleheads running atop the porta-potties? Sure. Will some women still lift their tops in a titillating game of show and tell? Hey, they'll still serve beer, won't they?

But this really is a chance to put on a better face for Baltimore, to show the Preakness isn't all about debauchery and drinking. Goodness, everyone knows Old Hilltop deserves a break after all she has been through. Let's clean her up, give her a little better image, and see if that doesn't make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

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