Maryland horse racing revolves around the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness is the biggest event on the horse racing calendar in the Old Line State.
Before that, though, is the Kentucky Derby. The first Triple Crown race is set to take place on Saturday at Churchill Downs. For Marylanders interested in watching, betting on or even just preparing for the Preakness in two weeks, there are plenty of places within state lines to catch the annual event.
Here is a list of establishments to consider if you’re hoping to watch the race outside of your home.
MGM National Harbor
For those near Washington D.C., MGM National Harbor has two places to watch the Derby. In partnership with the Maryland Jockey Club, the second floor of the casino features the Race Book, which boasts 24 screens and 21 carrels to both watch and bet.
You can also go to the TAP Sports Bar to watch on one the of 70 TVs throughout the restaurant. And if the weather is good, patio seating may also be available.
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
For those further north, the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is also ready for a watch party. Located next to Caesar’s Sportsbook, Brew Brothers opened earlier this year and features dozens of craft beers and wall-to-wall TVs.
The Horseshoe also has an Off-Track Betting area. There, you can watch on one of its 30 TVs or one of its 44 more private carrels.
Live! Casino and Hotel
In Anne Arundel County, you can watch the Derby at Sports & Social at Live! Casino and Hotel. Located next to the FanDuel Sportsbook, you can grab a bite to eat or a drink, and watch most events on the 100-foot media wall or one of their dozens of other TVs.
Sports & Social
For those not interested in betting, Sports & Social also has a separate North Bethesda location in the Pike and Rose Shopping Center. Once Maryland finalizes mobile sports betting, Sports & Social is expected to apply and would qualify for the Class B license.
Right now, however, you will have to settle for watching the race on its 18-foot media wall, spending your money on their drinks/food instead.
Ocean Downs Casino
If you are on the Eastern Shore, Ocean Downs is a place to consider. Besides hosting its own races, you can watch the Kentucky Derby at its on-site TwinSpires Sportsbook. From there, you can watch on one of the 26 TVs inside.
Ocean Downs also has a handful of restaurants one can visit, including the Clubhouse Turn, where you can view the action.
Hollywood Casino Perryville
Northeastern Marylanders can go to Hollywood Casino in Perryville to watch the race. Similar to the other casinos, they also have both an off-track betting area and a sportsbook filled with TVs to cheer with the public.
Rocky Gap Casino
For those near the West Virginia and Pennsylvania borders, the Rocky Gap Casino doesn’t have a sports betting license. But for those simply looking to watch in a fun environment, the sports lounge here has 30-by-8 foot LED TV walls. And you can dine while you watch.
Spread across the borders of Maryland, Greenmount Station, Long Shot’s and Riverboat on the Potomac are three OTB restaurants to consider. They are also three of the last four establishments to receive a sports betting license and will hopefully launch physical sportsbooks sometime in the near future.
Greenmount Station is north of Baltimore, near the Pennsylvania border. You can stop by for a beer or go to its OTB area, filled with TVs and carrels.
At Long Shot’s, one can order some barbeque and enjoy the races while watching on one of its 88 TVs.
Riverboat on the Potomac is actually in Virginia, but since it’s built out into the Potomac River, the establishment is technically considered to be in Maryland. The venue has a great view of the water as well as a small arcade.
Buffalo Wild Wings
If any of the above seem a bit intimidating, you can always visit one of Maryland’s eight Buffalo Wild Wings locations for a more relaxed environment. Enjoy a drink and some wings while watching the Derby at any of the Annapolis, Hanover, Bowie, Laurel, Columbia, College Park, Capitol Heights, or Nottingham locations.
How to watch and bet from home
Mobile sports betting is currently illegal in Maryland. However, advance-deposit wagering on horse racing is legal in the state. You can watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby, as well as racing from around the country, on your computer, tablet, or phone.
In addition to an online service and an app, TVG also has a pair of television networks. TVG and TVG2 are available through cable providers and the Watch TVG app. That app can be downloaded to Amazon, Apple TV, and Roku devices.