Rule No. 1 on a hot, humid afternoon: Hydrate relentlessly, generally with water. On Preakness day, the crowd quaffed rivers of beer, which became a major problem when many of Pimlico's toilets lost water pressure and stopped working.

A Maryland Jockey Club spokesman said a pipe burst about 2 miles away from the track, and that "the city was working on it."

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But not nearly quickly enough for those desperately seeking a functioning restroom. By 3:30 p.m., many elegantly attired women were waiting patiently to use a second-floor ladies room. Hundreds of fans wandered outside looking for the port-o-potties behind the grandstand. They were thrilled to find them but winced at the long lines.

A good Samaritan told a distressed couple the location of a men's room and a ladies room near the stakes barn. The grateful fellow said, "Thanks, man, you're da bomb!" as they walked away swiftly.