When you grow up with family members on both sides of the family who hail from Kentucky, you learn as a child that the first race of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, is always the first Saturday in May and takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville. In a lot of ways, it’s a sign that spring is on the way, similar to Opening Day for baseball fans in cold-weather states (I’m originally from Ohio).
But, there are two other races to follow in the racing season — and the second one took place Saturday in Maryland. Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course hosts the Preakness Stakes two weeks after the Derby. (In three weeks from Saturday, New York’s Belmont Stakes will be held.)
Now, at the Kentucky Derby, the pre-race traditions include the singing of the official Bluegrass state song, “My Old Kentucky Home,” by Stephen C. Foster.
Starting in 1939, the official state song of Maryland was “Maryland, My Maryland,” according to the state government website. And that’s what they used to sing there (until 2020, when the woke mob made them stop). The state website adds:
As of July 1, 2021, “Maryland, My Maryland” as the State song was repealed and not replaced by the General Assembly (Chapters 148 & 149, Acts of 2021).
Here’s a lovely rendition of it, for old times’ sake:
Who else misses the US Naval Academy Glee Club singing
"Maryland, my Maryland at the #Preakness #Tradition https://t.co/SoggayM2SR
— Bearzus (@bearzus) May 15, 2021
Now, I’m familiar with military flyovers at other sporting events like the Indianapolis 500 or the Major League Baseball’s World Series, but they had this spectacular display of a Northrop Grumman B-2 (Stealth Bomber) flying over before the Preakness started.
Well, that was awesome. #B2stealthbomber #Preakness pic.twitter.com/kIw36dW5x8
— NTRA (@NTRA) May 21, 2022
Not sure how calming that could have been for the horses (but it’s likely no one asked them).
Now, everyone who follows horse racing (even casually) knows that the Derby is known as “the Run for the Roses.” The winning horse is adorned with a blanket of red roses. What do they have at the Preakness? Why, it’s black-eyed Susans!
It's a great day to be in the Winner’s Circle at #Pimlico. Seven of today's 9 #PreaknessStakes contenders are descendants of Secretariat. Good luck and safe trips to all the horses and riders.
Four favorite images from the 1973 Preakness: https://t.co/XkIY2qee2V pic.twitter.com/BHs7ZSUAlo
— Secretariat (@SECRETARIATofcl) May 21, 2022
I’ll admit, it was completely irresistible to write about this year’s race, once I heard the name of the winning horse. In perhaps a twist of irony (or God winking at all of us who are so serious about politics), the horse’s name is Early Voting.
BREAKING: Early Voting crosses the finish line first at the Preakness Stakes. https://t.co/hqWSBVnrHm
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 21, 2022
Watch Early Voting’s thrilling, come-from-behind win below, courtesy of NBC Sports:
Join the conversation as a VIP Member