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Where to Watch the Preakness This Weekend

We’ve rounded up the places in Washington—plus one in Baltimore—to check out the race.

The Preakness. Photograph by Flickr user boboroshi.

If you didn’t get your fill of pastels, bow ties, or good old-fashioned horse racing debauchery at the Virginia Gold Cup earlier this month, we have good news for you. Saturday’s racing of the Preakness Stakes brings yet another opportunity to don outrageous hats and head to Baltimore to “get your preak on” (their pun, not ours). But if making it to Charm City doesn’t seem feasible, we’ve found several local bars, restaurants, and even a charitable organization hosting viewing parties this Saturday.

Get your brunch fix at Graffiato with a new menu and a specialty Preakness cocktail. Sip a Moroccan Julep in honor of Moroccan mixologist Taha Ismail, as you nibble cinnamon knots, polenta meatballs, or a breakfast pizza (topped with bacon, potato, cheddar cheese, and sunnyside-up egg) and watch to see if I’ll Have Another really has what it takes to score the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Don your red, black, and yellow and race on over to Virtue Feed & Grain to watch the Preakness on any one of the restaurant’s ten screens. Indulge in the spot’s version of a Black-Eyed Susan—a “hoptail” prepared with beer, vodka, and pineapple—paired with chef Ryan Wheeler’s take on a hot brown: roast turkey, crispy bacon, and cheddar cheese sauce on a Pullman loaf from Society Fair. Get into the betting spirit with a friendly competition to guess the winning steed for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Restaurant Eve.

If you’re feeling charitable and itching to see horses in person, head to Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg for a party benefiting Loudoun Therapeutic Riding. From 4:30 to 10 guests can dance the night away while enjoying a live telecast of the race, live amateur horse racing, and several auctions, including a signed Capitals jersey and trips to tropical locales. Wear your most festive head topper to participate in the hat contest. Tickets are $100 (available online) and include an open bar (Black-Eyed Susans, wine from local vineyards) and eats from restaurants such as Vintage 50 and Tuskies.

Satisfy both your inner child and your outer adult with a boozy Black-Eyed Susan snow cone on the roof of Jack Rose Dining Saloon. An as-yet unannounced Baltimore-themed punch and cocktail will also be served; if beer is more your style, enjoy $2 off all draft beers and $5 Flying Dog beers. All three TVs will be showing the race, and serious racing fans will be given forms to track the horses.

For a relaxing Preakness viewing experience, try out the $7 mint juleps and enjoy the race in peace at Smith Commons, or head to Nellie’s Sports Bar, which will offer $5 Black-Eyed Susans.

In Baltimore but unable to score tickets to the main event? Don’t fret; watch the spectacle in the comfort of the air-conditioned Wit & Wisdom. A Preakness-themed menu will include crabcakes, fried chicken, crab chips and dip, pit-beef sandwiches, and shrimp cocktail. The mixologist’s take on a Black-Eyed Susan will be the drink du jour. Dress in your finest racing attire; the fun starts at 3.

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