Preakness Sees Record-High Turnout | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Preakness Sees Record-High Turnout

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Baltimore hosted the Preakness, Maryland's biggest horse racing event of the year, this weekend and the race broke an attendance record, according to officials.

The Maryland Jockey Club took a risk a few years ago when it ended its bring-your-own-beer policy at the Preakness Stakes -- the second stop in the famed Triples Crown. Attendance shot down in the following years as many party goers decided to stay at home and save money. 

But now they just charge $20 for all the beer you can drink and the new policy seems to be well received. This past Saturday, the largest crowd in the history of the Preakness was on hand to watch "I'll Have Another" win the second jewel in the Triple Crown. After winning the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, I'll Have Another has just one race left to be the first horse in decades to take the title. 

The Jockey Club was able to attract more viewers in part by bringing in stadium-filling artists Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa. The industry has been struggling in recent years to maintain large crowds as gamblers have drifted away from live racing and towards casinos, making the infusion of cash from this year's Preakness is all the more important.

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