Saturday 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) established new records for both handle and attendance at Pimlico, the Maryland Jockey Club announced.
Despite ominous clouds during the day, a record 140,327 people showed up to celebrate the second jewel of the Triple Crown. That number easily surpassed last year’s record of 135,256 who attended.
The 14-race card saw total handle reach $97,168,658, a jump of 3 percent on the previous record of $94,127,434 and a 14 percent increase over 2015 wagering.
In-state handle also rose, according to the Maryland Jockey Club, up 7.1 percent from last year and 10.4 percent from 2015.
“From morning into evening, we witnessed an incredible day of world-class racing and eclectic entertainment,” said Sal Sinatra, president of the Maryland Jockey Club. “The sport of Thoroughbred racing is being rejuvenated and reimagined by the Stronach family. Their commitment to this sport is remarkable and unparalleled. Their vision is being embraced by horsemen and fans around the country.
“We want to thank the fans who came to Pimlico Saturday as well as the horsemen who supported our program this weekend. And, of course, the incredible equine athletes for their spirit and beauty.”