Trophy tradition

woodlawn vase
Library of Congress photo

The tradition of the this blog’s predecessors, almost each year around the third Saturday of May, is to revel in the reward for Maryland racing’s biggest moment being a distinctly Kentucky cup.

The Woodlawn Vase is named for an old racetrack in Eastern Jefferson County. The trophy first was won by Central Kentucky breeder and horse owner R.A. Alexander, who is credited as a pioneer of the thoroughbred breed, its reliance on pedigrees, its farms and its sales — for starters. His Woodburn Farm remains at the heart of the Bluegrass. The trophy was used once at Churchill Downs before eventually making its way to Maryland where the Tiffany & Co.-made heirloom is the trophy for the Preakness Stakes.

As the horses for the 141st Preakness parade on the track before the presentation stand, where the trophy is awarded, and “Maryland, My Maryland” is sung, remember that the Woodlawn Vase literally has an old Kentucky home.

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