Alfred G. Vanderbilt once said of Pimlico that it is “more than a dirt track bounded by four streets. It is an accepted American institution, devoted to the best interests of a great sport, graced by time, respected for its honorable past.”
Opened in 1870, Pimlico Racetrack is also Baltimore through and through. Engineered by General John Ellicott for the Maryland Jockey Club, the track was built after Governor Oden Bowie out-bid the rival Saratoga, New York racing club to host a special race by pledging to build a model track in Baltimore.
The track has been going strong ever since, even surviving an anti-gambling movement in 1910 when Congress carved out Maryland and Kentucky from a national prohibition on horse racing.
Although a devastating fire destroyed the old clubhouse in 1966, the seven furlong track, stables for a thousand horses, and even the new grandstands at Pimlico today still hold loads of Baltimore history and stories.