Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The countdown is on and the excitement is building. The 138th Preakness Stakes runs in just five days and Monday, there was a big arrival at the racetrack.
Meghan McCorkell was there as the Kentucky Derby winner landed in Baltimore.
The trailer carrying Orb arrived late Monday afternoon and that has created buzz all over Baltimore.
Orb is in the building. The race horse that smoked the competition at the Kentucky Derby has arrived in Baltimore.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey is looking for a win in this second jewel of the Triple Crown.
“Today we’re standing up here with a bit of a target on our back. I love that,” McGaughey told reporters.
The horse is owned by Baltimore County businessman Stuart Janney and is creating buzz all over Maryland.
Orb’s father was born at a horse farm in Fallston.
“It’s thrilling. The Derby certainly is…and Preakness is hometown pride,” said Ellen Pons, Country Life Horse Farm.
And Orb should have quite the audience. Last year’s Preakness drew more than 121,000 spectators and this year, those numbers are expected to go up. Ticket sales for the race are already up 10%.
“I think it’s great for the city. I think it’s great for the state,” said spectator Richard Karoll.
“The corporate village, all the tents are sold. The turfside terrace is sold. There’s some infield, obviously, with general admission. Mug clubs sold out. Building’s getting sold out,” said Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas.
Now final preparations are underway on the track. The seats are going in and there’s a buzz in the barns. The stakes are high as the national spotlight once again shines on Baltimore.
Attendance at the Preakness has increased the past four years in a row. State officials say the economic impact of last year’s Preakness was about $35 million.