Keepsake memories of Preaknesses past are precious heirlooms, secure in the storehouse of the mind, ready for instant and glorious recall.
When those eventful yesteryears come flowing into focus, the Preakness, once more, is off and running. The crowds cheer. The blanket of hothouse daisies, their passive faces painted to create facsimilies of black-eyed Susans, is draped across the withers of the winner. And the infield cupola, painted only minutes after the result, reflects the racing colors of another triumphant owner.
The Preakness at Pimlico, as much a part of old Baltimore as rowhouses with white steps, is an annual rite of spring, an awakening from the slumber of winter for all of us, a commemoration of Maryland's Thoroughbred connection.