They said they think moving the race to Laurel would mean fewer Baltimoreans would get to go.
"Preakness is supposed to be the people's race," said Zoe Demko, 21, of Detroit. "It's not the Derby."
They have concourse reserve seats, and "you can see how old the wood is and how old the seats is," said Pittman, 54.
As a kid, Pittman brought a wagon to Pimlico and people would pay him to roll their food onto the infield. He'd make $100 or $200 a day.
Pittman and Wyche, 53, would like to see Pimlico renovated but acknowledged Laurel would likely be a better facility.
"Why is it that the Kentucky Derby can stay so pretty and fresh and looking nice, and Pimlico is just going down?" Pittman asked.
"From my standpoint, I have no problem with Pimlico," said Carlos Martin, a third generation trainer whose horse, Berks County, is competing in the eighth race. The facilities here are "fine," the track is well-maintained and "the security's second to none here in Maryland."
For a man who says horse training is in his blood, to move the race to Laurel would be a strong blow to tradition.
"The triple crown races are the staple of the racing industry," he said. "It's like the World Series. People around the world that don't know anything about racing know about the Triple Crown."
"It would be so out of character for the Preakness to be held anyplace other than Pimlico," he said.
He acknowledged the change could be inevitable — but it'll sure take some getting used to.
— Christina Tkacik
The eight Budweiser Clydesdales and Barley, their Dalmatian mascot, still don't know if the track is too muddy to pull out the wagon today. The Budweiser wagon hearkens back to the days when beer was delivered by horse and the trusty Dalmatian would keep watch of the goods. -- Christina Tkacik
Cheryl Yuille, 55, of West Palm Beach, Fla., comes to the Preakness with her family and friends every year — and she has the pins on her hat to show for it.
Marc "Shaky" Rosenberg, a vendor hawking Black-Eyed Susans, spotted Yuille watching the early races in the grandstands and let out a shout before pulling her into a bear hug.
Rosenberg, something of a Pimlico celebrity for his high-intensity, high-volume vending approach, turned heads as he carried a tray full of brimming drinks through the aisle, hawking: "Suzies! Suzies!"
"We welcome people from all over the country, from all over the world," Rosenberg said. "Give them that Baltimore experience, get their hands clapping, their toes tapping and put a smile on their face from ear to ear."
Race officials are considering a move to a track in Laurel. Rosenberg would go with the Preakness if the race moves, but he hopes such a move would be temporary until Pimlico gets the renovations it needs.
If it moves, "hopefully it finds its way back to Baltimore," he said.
Race officials have said the race track needs hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations. Forrest English and Agnes Galloway, of Pikesville, who have come to the race with Yuille for 15 years, agree.
"They need to do some refurbishment," said English, 76. "It's horrible."
Galloway, 73, described the facility as "antiquated and old."
"It needs to be torn down and rebuilt," she said.
Willie Allen, 32, traveled to Pimlico from Trinity, Ala., for his first Preakness this year. He's been to the Kentucky Derby several times and hopes to eventually make it to the Belmont Stakes in New York.
Pimlico compares favorably to Churchill Downs, Allen said.
"I like it," he said. "It's more of a people's track. ... Getting here early, you can see everything, and it's not a mad rush to get in."
Pimlico's history was among the biggest draws for Allen, who said he hopes the Preakness continues to be held in Baltimore.
"Don't kill tradition," Allen said. "Tradition is what it's built in; don't change it. You don't want to see it turn into a corporate event."
— Colin Campbell
For Chris Lucas, a Towson native and one half of the rising country duo LoCash, attending Preakness was long overdue.
"I could never afford to go to Preakness, and was always jealous of those who did," Lucas said from the second stage during the band's afternoon set. "Still can't afford it but here we are!"
His hometown credibility took a bit of a hit, when Lucas spotted an attendee in a Natty Boh mask but failed to identify him correctly.
"That's the Utz guy, right?" he asked.
The crowd attempted to help by yelling, "Natty Boh!" But it never rang a bell with Lucas.
"I've seen that face on things but I don't know what it is," he said.
Forgiveness came quickly when the duo, along with their five-piece backing band, launched into their latest single, "Ring on Every Finger."
— Wes Case
"They're a little more high strung," said groom Kathy Jones of Bowie as her horse, Rockinn on Bye, jerked his nose out of his paddock, and his neighbors kicked at the walls.
They're "talkin' to the other horses," said Jones. They're restless — ready to run, and on edge, in unfamiliar territory. "They're not at their home space."
Jones said she doesn't foresee the Preakness moving to Laurel anytime soon. "If they did, I wouldn't care for it," she said.
— Christina Tkacik