Pre-Preakness crowd is up for Friday's races

Baltimore, MD - The heart-thumping feel of a horse race gave over 30,000 people a thrill on Friday.  It's not the Preakness Stakes, but it's a crowd pleaser. 

The Black-Eyed Susan race benefits breast cancer research and Komen for the Cure.  It's a Preakness pre-party for the Cohen family. 

"I figured I'd just go grab the kids after school and teach them a little bit about gambling.  I taught them how in gambling you lose," said Charles Cohen.    

"Even though we lost I still kind of felt like we won," said Ellie Cohen.    

So does the Maryland Jockey Club.  The betting on Friday's races was $14 million, a three million dollar jump from last year.  Excitement around the Preakness started early this year when Kentucky Derby winner "I'll Have Another" came to Baltimore two days after the first win.

"I think between Doug O'Neill bringing the horse here that early and Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa, and the Olympic volleyball players out in the infield and the weather, we're going to have a huge day," said Mike Gathagan, Maryland Jockey Club spokesman.    

Four of the top five horses from the Derby will race in Baltimore.  The Jockey Club is expecting over 110,000 people.  Final set-up and work on the track is finished up.

Across from Pimlico on Northern Pkwy, food vendors BNG Enterprises sets up for three days around the clock -- Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"Bigger than the Ravens.  Bigger than anything we do.  We do parades.  This is the biggest thing we do," said Gary Hummel, BNG Enterprises.

That first time feeling for a kid may never fade.   

"It was really exciting and I kind of want to remember it when I'm grown up," said Ellie Cohen.   

The gates open at 8 a.m.  The first act hits the main stage at 11:15 a.m.  Wiz Khalifa is on at 1:20 p.m. and Maroon 5 at 4 p.m. 

Print this article Back to Top