may 17th

As soon as the Preakness Stake winner has been declared, a painter climbs to the top of the replica Old Clubhouse copula to paint the weather vane. He applies the colors of the winner’s silks to the jockey and horse, which will remain there until a new winner is declared in the next year’s Preakness. The practice began in 1909 after the original building’s arrow-shaped weather vane was struck down by lightening. To replace it, the Maryland Jockey Club commissioned an ornamental ironworker to forge a vane in the form of a horse and rider. It was christened that spring by coating it with the colors of the silks of that year’s winner, Effendi, and has continued ever since.

Source: http://www.preakness.com

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