Despite all that's been going on with my father, I managed to pull off the Preakness party on Saturday. I went to the farmers market first thing in the morning to get the salad ingredients and some other things, then off to another market to get breads for the bruscetta. Then to the hospital for a while with my mother and brother.
Then from there, to the real grocery store to pick up the booze for the Southsides, good cheeses and some staples. Final stop was the local city market for thick butcher-sliced bacon for the tenderloin and some black-eyed susans. I was briefly prepared to paint the eyes of the flowers like they do for the blanket of flowers at the Preakness. Zipped back home to make the cupcakes, which were mini and had black-eyed susans piped on them in lurid yellow, with brown centers (it's green and red that you combine to make brown icing). I made the salad and then my superhero friend, Dog, came to the rescue and came over and cooked the tenderloin for me. He poked around the cabinets in the kitchen and found some ingredients for a brilliant sauce. I set the table with a hot pink tablecloth, and used parts of my collection of willow-ware in blue and pink. I had gorgeous blue napkins with went wonderfully with the willow and contrasted with the hot pink. Lots of glassware, with only one broken! After I barricaded Connor, aka Houdini Dog, upstairs and everyone began arriving, it was time for the fun surprise to arrive, too. I had arranged to have a pony tethered to the tree in front of my downtown city rowhouse when the guests arrived. It was hilarious to see their reaction to Cash the pony, courtesy of Tony, in front of the house.
Then it was time for the featured race... I had almost fainted when Curlin's jockey took a fall in an earlier race, but he was ready for the big race. I had printed out slips of paper with each horses' silks on them, along with their post position. We went for the big purse, with each person chipping in the grand sum of $1.00. And they're off... and Curlin won!!! Much excitement and cheering and to the winner went the spoils of $9.00.
Here's an excerpt from the post-race interview with part-owner of Curlin:
Q: George Bolton, as a Baltimore native, can you discuss your feelings winning the Preakness?
GEORGE BOLTON: It is a dream come true. I grew up on a farm that my father owns, only about ten miles from here, across from St. Timothy's School on Greenspring Avenue. So very close. The team was all there last night.
You never think you are going to ever be in a race or win a race like this. This is something that is very surreal. The Derby was surreal. The Arkansas Derby was surreal. I am just very proud to be associated with this group, and to win a race ten miles from my father's farm is a great, great honor.
After leaving the hospital, my brother had a chance to spend some time at the Bolton's farm with the families, who were all in town for the big race. This has been a nice bit of fun during a very trying time for our family. Congratulations to George, his partners and to Curlin. Well done!