Preakness parties begin in a frenzy


May 15, 1991|By LAURA CHARLES

PREAKNESS PARTIES are a bit like pistachio nuts, once you start 'em, you just can't stop! Friday night's glitzy soiree at the World Trade Center and on board our fave ship, the Clipper City, was a dazzling tribute to Maryland's horse racing industry.

The bash was hosted by the Maryland Jockey Club and the Pimlico's handsome Joe De Francis, accompanied by the always gorgeous Becky Raynes.

THE INVITATION ONLY bash featured music by the much-acclaimed Charlie Byrd and the Strolling Strings along with a bountiful feast of sumptuous Maryland seafood served harborside that won bravos from the assembled.

Delegate John Arnick dropped by looking dapper as ever.

Schmoozed with Racing Photographics Inc.'s Rick Buckley, who's from Westminster and specializes in artistic equine photography. Former Colt Ordell Braase turned out with perky wife, Jan, as did P.R. partners

Lynda O'Dea and Marsha Becker, who are in the midst of helping to organize two other bashes -- the Triple Crown Ball tomorrow at the Hyatt and a Fantasy Voyage celebration Friday night (by invite only) on board the cruise ship Royal Viking Sun. "It's going to be a lot of fun," Becker enthused.

MARYLAND PUBLIC TV hosted a festive champagne brunch at Pimlico

Race Course at the Pimlico Special Saturday afternoon to celebrate MPT's involvement with the Preakness Celebration.

Although MPT president Raymond Ho couldn't make it -- he was moving that day -- MPT's Maureen Volland and Lisa Shenkle helped make the "Day at the Races" fun for all.

THE SIXTH ANNUAL Shock Trauma Gala Saturday night featured a tour of Maryland created by the party wizards at P. W. Feats and celebrated the life-saving work of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

Among the honored guests, which totaled 1,300, at the black-tie affair at the Towson Center were novelist Tom Clancy and Diane Eaton, a producer of the weekly CBS program, "Rescue 911" -- which we'll probably need after this week's Preakness frenzy.

Clancy, who's book "Patriot Games" mentions Shock Trauma, was a gracious emcee.

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