The Sunrise at Hilltop Tours during Preakness race week at Pimlico, led by Fran Burns, are a popular annual event. If you’ve never made it to one (maybe because they are at sunrise!), there is a new Backstretch Tour this year during the racing days at Timonium Fairgrounds.
On racing days – September 3, 4, 5, and 6th – Fran will meet you at the Horseland tent, in front of the Grandstand, starting 1 ½ hours before the first post time. You will get a half hour, up close golf cart tour with stops at the Winner’s Circle, starting gates, and finish line. All of the horses that are entered in the Timonium races are stabled at Laurel or Pimlico Racetracks during the meet. They travel daily to Timonium by van shuttle, and the next stop on your tour is a meet and greet as the shuttle arrives with the day’s entries.
After a tour of the barns and paddock, you will meet Kaymarie Kreidel – a former race jockey, who is now the outrider for Timonium, Pimlico and Laurel. She has an important job, accompanying horses to the starting gate, helping the jockeys, and after the race, taking the winner to the Winner’s Circle. Outriders also catch loose racehorses, an incredibly demanding job that takes a lot of skill and determination. You may have seen pictures of Kaymarie when she captured Bodexpress, the runaway horse at the 2018 Preakness Stakes.
Next on the tour – shed row, where you will look over the horses, pick a winner, and have your picture taken with your hopeful. Later at the races, you can see how your pick does in his or her race.
Last stop – the track kitchen. Fran says the track kitchen has the best food at the fairgrounds. Anyone can go in, so you can enjoy lunch and soak up the atmosphere as horsemen and women come in and socialize.
To sign up, there is a dry erase board in the Horseland Tent – sign up for the tour you want on any of the above-posted racing days. It’s free, but first come, first serve and space is very limited.
Editor’s Note: This information first appeared on Women’s Daily Post.