A 'refined' infield at this year's Preakness

May 21, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

Tim Lare of Hampstead came to his first Preakness in 1973, the same year Secretariat won the middle leg of the Triple Crown.

 "I think he paid $2,80," Lare recalled Saturday.

 Lare kept going to Pimlico for its big race every year until 2000, and stopped because of the rowdiness in the infield. He had tried the grandstand once, but didn't like it because "it was too crowded." Carl Kemp, a friend of Lare's from Carroll County, had given up going in 1999, tired of what he called "ignorant" people who ruined the day with the drunken behavior.

 Lare and Kemp returned Saturday, to a gentler, kinder infield.

 "It's more refined," said Lare. "Give it time and it will start going back to what it used to be."

 It might have been a little too gentle and too refined for Kemp's liking.

 “If you know what I mean,” Kemp said.

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