Unveiling the Secret Behind Preakness Stakes’ Iconic Black-Eyed Susan Garland

The Preakness Stakes is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the United States. Held annually at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, this race is the second leg of the Triple Crown series. While the race itself is thrilling and attracts spectators from around the world, there is another iconic element that sets the Preakness Stakes apart—the Black-Eyed Susan garland.

The History and Significance of Black-Eyed Susans at Preakness Stakes

The tradition of using Black-Eyed Susans as part of the winner’s garland dates back to 1917. Originally, the garland was made entirely of these vibrant yellow flowers, which are native to Maryland. However, due to logistical challenges in sourcing enough fresh Black-Eyed Susans early in the racing season, a creative solution was found.

The Substitution: How Carnations Became Part of the Garland

To ensure that every winner receives a beautiful floral garland despite timing constraints, a substitution was made. Since 1940, when actual Black-Eyed Susans are not available or blooming yet, a combination of daisies and mums painted to resemble Black-Eyed Susans are used instead. These substitutions maintain the symbolic representation and visual appeal that has become synonymous with the Preakness Stakes.

The Creation Process and Design Elements

Crafting each Black-Eyed Susan garland requires meticulous attention to detail. The process begins with selecting fresh daisies and chrysanthemums that closely resemble Black-Eyed Susans in shape and color. Skilled artisans then carefully paint each flower’s petals with black lacquer to imitate their namesake.

Once painted, these flowers are combined with actual Black-Eyed Susans to create a visually stunning garland. The final product features alternating clusters of the painted flowers and real Black-Eyed Susans, giving it a unique and distinctive appearance that captures the essence of the Preakness Stakes.

The Presentation and Symbolism

The Black-Eyed Susan garland holds great significance at the Preakness Stakes. After the race, the winning horse is adorned with this beautiful garland during the victory ceremony. Jockeys proudly wear it around their necks as they parade in front of an enthusiastic crowd, celebrating their triumph.

The garland itself symbolizes not only the beauty and grace of these majestic horses but also represents Maryland’s state flower—the Black-Eyed Susan. It serves as a visual reminder of the rich history and traditions associated with this legendary horse racing event.

In conclusion, the iconic Black-Eyed Susan garland is an integral part of the Preakness Stakes’ heritage. Despite logistical challenges, its design and symbolism have been preserved throughout history. This vibrant floral tribute adds an extra touch of elegance to an already prestigious event, capturing the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.