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Helping to put together the Preakness winner’s blanket

Here’s a short story shared by copy editor Teresa Cook…

I got lucky in the Preakness this year. The florist putting the flowers into the winning horse’s blanket let me put one in!

I went to my local Giant supermarket in north Baltimore on Friday morning and was glad to see the big display as usual. Every year the flower shop at the store makes the blanket for the winning horse, and customers can watch.

Maryland’s state flower is the black-eyed Susan, but it doesn’t bloom until later in the summer. For years, florists had to resort to painting a black dot in the middle of yellow flowers. Now they just use Viking mums, a variety of yellow mum with a dark brown center.

Each bloom has a piece of floral wire attached and is then inserted into a plastic mesh, with the wire bent back up to the top, so as not to pinch the horse.

Now I’m going to have to watch the awards ceremony after the race so I can see the horse wearing that blanket that I helped to make.