Preakness – The Party & The Pretty (& the Predicament!)

Preakness – The Party & The Pretty (& the Predicament!)

May 19, 2018 – Pimlico Race Course

Givenchy and Stella McCartney may have ruled the day – fashion-wise – across “the pond” at the royal wedding. But, here at Pimlico, Mother Nature took the reins when it came to determining fashion choices at Preakness.

Two days of rain created a muddy mess…

…forcing folks to adapt their original race day outfits…

…or plunge ahead, throwing caution…

…and possibly a favorite pair of shoes – to the wind.


“It’s my Preakness pedi,” declared a barefoot Rena Stephens (L), of Vienna, VA, going the shoe-saving route in Preakness Village, while daughter Sydney (R), 12, kicked up a little fun in her booties.

When you’re as delightfully dapper as Roman Lindy, from Louisville, KY, you stay inside the Pimlico clubhouse. However, if you think these togs were just too-too….”You should see my [Kentucky] Derby suit,” he said, with a chuckle.

Pictured (LtoR) Old college friends Danielle Breen, of Groton, MA, Sabrina DeLuca, of Summit, NJ, and Samantha Marella, of Garfield, MS, figured out early how best to deal with their shoes and the mud in the infield…….by ditching them. “They’re in a bush somewhere,” they said.

Pictured (LtoR) Infielders Katie Coleman, of Charlotte, NC, Brittany Gross, of Richmond, VA, and Lauren Cox, of Richmond, VA, are gorg in galoshes. “The rain ain’t gonna stop us,” Katie announced.

Pictured (LtoR) Patrick Hartung, Chris Wright and Kyle Cottrell, of AG Light and Sound, prove a design sense beyond what they put together on stage at InfieldFest.

Pictured (LtoR) Maddie Sarro, Erika Nepomuceno, Diana Narvaez and Raimie Madsen – all of Frederick – at the start of the infield mudfest (we couldn’t bring ourselves to go back later and check out the “after!)

“It’s all about the mud and the mug,” according to infielders Sydney Fingerhut and Taylor Englehart, both Towson University grads.

Brandy Liu, of Columbia, kept with her original Preakness plan, with her Aidan Mattox scarlet frock and complimentary fascinator. But, practicality prevailed when it came to her Hunter boots. “They keep a girl dry,” she said.

Pictured (LtoR) Emily Gemmato and Ben Boudart – both of Newark, DE – didn’t coordinate their true blue ensembles. It just turned out that way. Each year, Ben orders a custom-made suit from Italy just for Preakness. This year, it was royal blue seersucker. “Next year, it’s mint and white,” he noted.

Tradition reigns – even in the rain – for Laurie Kapugi (L), of Silver Spring, and Anita Preacher (R), of Gaithersburg. Every year, they snag new chapeaus for Preakness. “It’s like going to a formal and needing a new gown. You need a new hat,” said Anita.

Katherine Zimmerly, of Baltimore, didn’t just look smart in her Preakness attire. She dressed smart, as well, purposefully picking last year’s Preakness shoes, knowing that – after mucking through the mud – they’d be biting the dust at the end of the day. She paired her Shoshanna sundress with a hat mom brought for her. “She lives in the South. [Big hats] are easy to come by there. So, every year she brings me an obnoxious one to wear,” she said with a laugh.

Debita Basu, of Baltimore, gives her red T-straps a break on what turns out to be a peninsula in the middle of Preakness Village’s swampy turf. Debita went for a retro look this year, with cat’s eyes, red lips and a retro dress from, as well as the pumps which would be a lost cause by day’s end. “I refuse to sacrifice my style,” she explained.

Curiosity killed the couture for Rich Goacher, of Dallas, TX, as he ventured across the track to check out Preakness Village. “I’m in a [clubhouse] suite. We walked over here and that was a mistake,” he said.

Alexandra French, of Federal Hill, beautified her bonnet the night before.

“But, the rainboots are the staple of my outfit,” she clarified.

Pictured (LtoR) Justin Batoff, of Greenspring Valley, Alexandra Billhardt, of Baltimore, Eric Goldie, of NYC, and Jeremy Batoff, of Greenspring Valley, alighting in Preakness Village. The formula for their faultless fashion? Wear the boots. Bring dress shoes in a bag (off camera). When you get inside, make the switch.

Among those willing to risk the weather in the name of Preakness style: Faith Dixon (L), of Mount Airy, and Colette Van de Berg, of Bel Air. Faith in a blush Guess sheath and fascinator courtesy, and Colette in cropped faux leather jacket over a black lace dress, and Christine A. Moore fascinator.

Baltimore Snap’s own style columnist Elena Russo has walked the runways in Europe and NYC. But, she knows when to forego the fancy and put on the practical. Not that this Baltimore fashionista abandons her aesthetic – going for vintage Robert Cavalli pants, complimentary scarf and hat, paired with her giraffe print wellies.

“I’m bringing Palm Beach to Preakness,” said Melanie Miller, of Annapolis, describing her ensemble that included Lilly Pulitzer pants. However, the favorite part of her outfit was the white rose she tucked into the brim of her fedora. “I was in my twin sister’s wedding yesterday, and it was from my bouquet,” she explained.

Mother Nature had a little something to do with “designing” the look sported by Ashley Kim, of Severn. Both the cloth booties and umbrella were giveaways in the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino tent. Who knew the purple bumbershoot would be such a great match for her Calvin Klein dress?

Thirteen years together clearly have made Gerry and Mike Harris clairvoyant with each other. Neither knew what the other was wearing as they dressed for the day. Yet the Glen Arm couple looked the perfect pair: she in her Christine A. Moore hat, Alice + Olivia frock and Hunter boots; he in his natty fedora, bowtie, and Tom Jones jacket.

Coordinated couple: Melissa and Augie Chiasera, of Baltimore, took the day’s weather in stride, without sacrificing their style.

How to make sure no one else will be wearing what you are? Anya Yankova (L), of Baltimore, picked up her gown in her native country of Ukraine. “I got it to wear at something spectacular,” she said. And MacKenzie Garvin, of Highlandtown, nabbed her neon orange dress from


And then there was Stevie Fox, 3, who found what many considered the day’s biggest headache his favorite attraction.


Sloane Brown

Baltimore's longtime fashion and social scene reporter, Sloane is the founder/managing editor of Baltimore Snap.