Image size 23 1/2" x 32"
Original Serigraph Edition of 300, 60AP, 8PP, signed and numbered by the artist
Image also published as a poster, poster size 23 1/2" x 32"
The Preakness Stakes, held at Pimlico Race Course in the heart of Maryland horse country, is the second jewel in racing's Triple Crown. LeRoy Neiman has been honored to be selected as the official artist for the 125th running of the Preakness Stakes, to be held on May 20, 2000.
Racing's Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in New York. The Preakness features the cream of the nation's 3-year-olds, topped by elite jockeys, running 1 and 3/16 miles for glory, a crown of black-eyed susans, a $1 million prize, and possession of the Triple Crown's largest and most impressive winner's cup. This year's Preakness is particularly exciting due to the popular Fusaichi Pegasus, who ran away with the Kentucky Derby and caught the fancy of the race goers.
Another tradition of the Preakness involves a weather vane in the form of a horse and rider. As soon as the race is over, the weather vane is hand-painted in the colors of the winning horse's silks. by the time of the presentation of the winner's cup the paint is dry and suitable for photographs. The weather vane is not painted again until the next Preakness winner is crowned one year later. This year, fulfilling his role as official artist, LeRoy Neiman will ascend the ladder to the weather vane and wield his paintbrush before the vast live crowd of nearly 100,000 and the worldwide television audience.
In the featured serigraph, the race has just begun as the horses charge out of the gate. Against a serene backdrop of Maryland's spring greenery, jockeys in rainbow silks seem to float above a churning mass of equine legs and hooves. The ground shakes with thunder as the racers kick up clouds of red and pink dust. a leader has not yet emerged and with more than a mile left to go, the race is still wide open.
As much a thoroughbred as the steeds he paints, LeRoy Neiman has created another tribute to the sport of kings, one to be treasured by Neiman collectors, racing fans and equiphiles alike.