The Black-Eyed Susan is the official flower of the Preakness Stakes, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown in American horse racing. Traditionally, the winning horse of the Preakness Stakes is draped with a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans, which are actually yellow daisies with dark centers, as the true Black-Eyed Susan flowers are not in bloom during the race's timing in May.
The tradition of using Black-Eyed Susans dates back to the 1910s, when a blanket of yellow flowers was first presented to the winning horse. The term "Black-Eyed Susan" was coined due to the dark centers of the yellow daisies used in the blanket, which resembled the actual Black-Eyed Susan flower. Over the years, the practice of using yellow daisies with dark centers became firmly established, despite the difference from the actual flower.
The name "Black-Eyed Susan" has also been used to refer to a cocktail served at the Preakness Stakes. It is a drink made with vodka, bourbon, peach schnapps, orange juice, and pineapple juice. The cocktail is often garnished with an orange slice and a cherry, mimicking the colors of the Black-Eyed Susan flower.
Overall, the Black-Eyed Susan is an important symbol of the Preakness Stakes and represents the celebration of victory and tradition in this prestigious horse race.