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The Preakness Stakes takes center stage. Fans say it's "one of Baltimore's best traditions"

All eyes on Baltimore for the 149th Preakness Stakes
All eyes on Baltimore for the 149th Preakness Stakes 02:45

BALTIMORE - Black-Eyed Susan Day took the spotlight Friday at Pimlico Race Course. 

The 14-race program was dedicated to 3-year-old fillies featuring six stakes and three grades worth $1 million in purses. 

Gun Song won the headlining Black-Eyed Susan race, the 13th race in the program and was draped with a blanket of yellow flowers.

This was the lead-up to Saturday's 149th running of the Preakness Stakes. 

Longtime horse racing fan Robert Hackerman told WJZ he's been coming to Pimlico Race Course for some 40 years.

Hackerman said that for about 25 of those years, he's held onto the same seats in the grandstand with a clear shot of the finish line. 

"The Preakness is a great tradition, perhaps one of Baltimore's best traditions," Hackerman said. 

Others are experiencing the annual weekend events for the first time. 

"We've been living here for all of our lives and this obviously is a heart and one of the favorites in Baltimore, so we figured why not come this year," Niyah Hines said. 

"To continue to see it going down generations is a big deal for Baltimore," Mahogany Madden-Roberts said. 

Now in state ownership, the historic, but antiquated, track is set for a facelift starting this summer. 

Preakness Day events kick off at 10 a.m. 

Here's what you need to know about the Preakness Stakes.

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