Posts tagged ‘Preakness Stakes’

May 17, 2014

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.


May 17, 2014

may 17

A long-standing Preakness Stakes tradition is to drape a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans — the official flower for the state of Maryland — across the shoulders of the winning horse.  Because Black-Eyed Susans do not bloom until June in Maryland, the centers of daisies are painted black to recreate the correct appearance.


May 18, 2013

138th Preakness Stakes


The Preakness Stakes trophy is so valuable, not even the winners are allowed to hold it.

The mammoth 13-kilogram, solid silver Woodlawn Vase, created by Tiffany and Co. in 1860, is estimated to be worth more than $1 million — making it the most valuable trophy in American sports.

The immense pressure of safeguarding it for an entire year was too much for the wife of 1953’s winning owner Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who instead convinced her husband to leave it the hands of organizers.

The trophy now remains on permanent display at the Baltimore Museum of Art, with winners instead being given a $30,000 replica trophy.