When I was growing up my parents used to throw Kentucky Derby parties. I like the idea, but I repurposed it to fit the fact that I live in Baltimore where the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown races, is run. Our Preakness party has become an annual tradition, with this year being the fifth one we’ve thrown. Like the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness has an official drink, named The Black-Eyed Susan after the state flower. (Supposedly they drape a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans over the winning horse, but they’re in fact not in season this time of year so they actually use painted daisies as a stand in. Just a little bit of trivia for you.) There are a number of different recipes for the drink floating around out there. We tend to make a couple of different versions for people to try. We always make the official version that they serve at Pimlico during the Preakness as well as the version published by The Washington Post. We often make a third version as well, but it has varied over the years.
The race itself only lasts about 2 minutes, so it’s really just a good excuse to have a party. I do enjoy watching the race though, and yesterday’s was great fun with a come from behind win by the Derby winner, I’ll Have Another. I always cheer for the horse that won the Kentucky Derby to win the Preakness as well so that there is a chance for a Triple Crown winner. I’m sure the people who run The Belmont Stakes do too, so that people will actually bother to watch their race. There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winning horse during my lifetime. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed, who won in 1978 just about a month before I was born. I hope every year for there to finally be an end to the drought, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’ll be cheering on I’ll Have Another during the Belmont in a few weeks.
I had a great time hanging out with friends yesterday and stuffing myself full of lots of great food. I’m already looking forward to next year.