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They are gathering in Baltimore for the second leg of racing’s triple crown at the Preakness Stakes.

This year the talk is as much about what’s happening outside the track than on the turf. As the race is run, Baltimore tries to celebrate and move on in appropriate ways – mindful of what makes Baltimore so troubled yet so unique in positive ways as well.

At the track, this year’s race is 140th running of the Preakness Stakes. The first race was run in 1873. The Preakness is also known as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” because of the blanket of yellow flowers thrown over the winning horse at the end. More important to some, the Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown series.

The race is quintessentially Maryland, highlighted by the singing of Maryland’s state anthem before the actual race.

But the name of the race itself has its roots in New Jersey. There was a colt called Preakness from Milton Holbrook Sanford’s Preakness Stables located in Preakness, New Jersey. The word Preakness is thought to be Native American in origin. It means Pra-qua-les (“Quail Woods”). Today, the name is known as being part of the Triple Crown. To many Preakness means Maryland.

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