Outside Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, a man stoops to sweep up a cigarette butt soaking in a puddle of spilled beer as a stretch limousine unloads a party adorned in feather hats and jewels. Pimlico is home to one of horse racing’s biggest events: the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes. Thoroughbred horses and their wealthy owners converge upon the peeling racetrack here every May, for the second leg of horse racing’s celebrated Triple Crown series. Such a well-heeled crowd demands a host of on-site services, from food and drink prep to laundry and security. In a city where the poverty rate is nearly 25%, many of these temporary service jobs are filled by Baltimore residents trying to make an extra buck.

Diptych1
Left: “I been coming here selling my drinks for the last nine years. Mark my words; I make the best damn black-eyed Susans at this track.”
-Osiris Brown, food service
Right: “I’m just here for the day.”
-Dorothea Bailey, janitorial staff
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Horses warm up before racing on Preakness afternoon.
Michele VanMeter, betting teller
Michele VanMeter, betting teller
A pony rider rests before the Preakness Stakes.
A pony rider rests before the Preakness Stakes.
Diptych2
Left: Marshall O’Neal, janitorial staff
Right: “What do I do all day? I wash dirty towels. These days are brutal, man. My wife dropped me off here at six a.m. and I ain’t done until seven or eight o’clock tonight. We don’t get tips either like some of the other guys working in the bathrooms or doing food service. We just get to take whatever the company gives us.”
-Donavon Barnes, janitorial staff
Diptych4
Left: Jacoba Kellem, security
Right: “I used to be a corrections officer. Let me tell you, there are a lot of bad jails and prisons around Baltimore. I like it here much better. I’m not scared to come into work every day.”
-Sandra Jones, security
Diptych3
Left: “This is my first day and I love it. It’s just a temp thing for the Preakness but I want to see if I can do full-time. I love being around all the people. My father used to come to the track all the time. Being here makes me think of him.”
-Phyllis James, security
Right: A jockey wipes mud from her eyes on a rainy Preakness afternoon.
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Horses break from the gate on Preakness day.
“I’m from Jamaica. Just trying to support my family. You know what I hate about Baltimore? The winters.” - Joseph Dobbs, security
“I’m from Jamaica. Just trying to support my family. You know what I hate about Baltimore? The winters.”
– Joseph Dobbs, security
Diptych5
Left: “I got lots of hustles. I’m blind and Baltimore ain’t got no money for blind people so today I’m selling sunglasses to feed myself.”
-Owens (“everyone just calls me Owens”), vendor
Right: “I been working security here for 28 years but my bones is getting tired. You ain’t never gonna see me sitting down on the job. I’m going to retire soon and do nothing other than hang out with my grandkids.”
-Gregory Pendleton, security
Horses sprint to the finish line on Preakness Day.
Horses sprint to the finish line on Preakness Day.

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Lili Holzer-Glier is a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue and The New York Times. Her first book, Rockabye, documents the Rockaways post–Hurricane Sandy and was published in 2015 by Daylight Books.