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  • Writer's pictureFrank Armiger

The Maryland National Guard at the Preakness

By Edward Heimiller, Archivist, Maryland Museum of Military History


Thirty years ago, in 1984, thoroughbred racehorse Gate Dancer (1981-1998) won the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Woodlawn Vase, seen here at the Preakness winner's circle in the infield was guarded by members of the 115th Military Police, 200th Military Police, and 290th Military Police as a joint venture.  (Maryland Center for Military History, 2024.04.11.001.001)

 




The 1989 Preakness Stakes was won by Sunday Silence (1986-2002), an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. Here members of the 115th Military Police, 200th Military Police, and 290th Military Police jointly guard the Woodlawn Vase at the replica of the Old Members' Clubhouse cupola at the winner’s circle. The ladder atop the cupola poised ready for the painter to climb and paint the winner’s colors on the horse and rider weather van. SGT Nancy Brenda Hearn-Parson of the 200th MP stands next to the winner’s Black-Eyed Susan blanket. White daises, freshly painted yellow, created the appearance of Black-eyed Susans since they are not in bloom in May. After presenting the blanket SGT Hearn-Parson’s gloves were yellow from the paint. Today a blanket of Viking Poms, a variety of chrysanthemums resembling black-eyed Susans, is used. (Maryland Center for Military History, 2024.04.11.001.007.1)





White glove service for one of Maryland’s oldest traditions. LT. John Tawes of the Maryland National Guard transports the iconic Woodlawn Vase at the 1988 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. (Maryland Center for Military History, 2024.04.11.001.004)

 

 

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