April 15th, 2024



BALTIMORE, MD – Today, Preakness: The Art of Racing, a nationwide art competition celebrating the unique elements of The Preakness Stakes and Thoroughbred horse racing, culminated in the announcement of Leo Kahl as the competition’s winner. Kahl’s original artwork, titled “First Turn,” was selected by a panel of judges from among the hundreds of total submissions.


The winning artwork was announced at an honorary ceremony in the Brown Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Senior Advisor of Arts & Culture for the City of Baltimore Tonya Miller Hall was in attendance representing Mayor Brandon Scott, a longtime advocate for Park Heights. MICA dignitaries, Park Heights’s City Council representatives and 1/ST RACING leadership attended the announcement alongside participating artists, bringing them the chance to meet and support each other as they celebrated a tradition that, much like the Preakness, unites communities across Baltimore.


In its third year, Preakness: The Art of Racing was launched on January 8th by 1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club in partnership with MICA through a call for entries to artists nationwide. The submission deadline was March 12th, at which point the public was encouraged to visit to peruse the digital gallery and cast a vote for their favorite work of art. The top 10 vote-getters were then judged by a panel that included elected officials, community leaders and art professionals to select the winner.


“My objective was to capture the colors, excitement and festive mood of Pimlico Race Course and The Preakness Stakes,” said Kahl. “I chose the loose and romantic medium of watercolor to depict this scene as it best depicts the movement and drama of the day.”


As the winner of the third-annual competition, Kahl receives a $4,000 stipend and two VIP tickets to Preakness 149 on Saturday, May 18. Additionally, his work will be reproduced on a curated collection of Preakness 149 merchandise that will be available for purchase online and onsite during Preakness weekend. Proceeds from the sale of merchandise will be used to advance the activities of Park Heights Renaissance as it pursues affordable housing for families and provides employment opportunities to people of Park Heights.


“The platform given to rising artists, both amateur and professional, who have entered Preakness: The Art of Racing competition over the past three years underscores the vibrancy of The Preakness Stakes and its unique cultural footprint,” said Audra Madison, Director of Marketing, Maryland Jockey Club. “It brings me joy to see the diverse array of artwork entered into the competition each year, and I hope community members share the same sense of celebration.”


The ongoing partnership between 1/ST and the Park Heights Renaissance also includes the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and the George E. Mitchell Park Heights Community Fellowship Grant, both of which honor the extraordinary legacy of Mitchell himself and recognize individuals who share a similar commitment to their friends and neighbors.


For more information on Preakness: The Art of Racing, please visit or follow @PreaknessStakes and #Preakness on social media.




About The Stronach Group and 1/ST  

The Stronach Group is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the core.  The company’s consumer facing brand 1/ST (pronounced “First”) powers The Stronach Group’s forward-thinking 1/ST RACING, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, 1/ST EXPERIENCE, and 1/ST PROPERTIES businesses, while advocating for and driving the 1/ST HORSE CARE mission. 1/ST represents The Stronach Group’s continued movement toward redefining Thoroughbred horse racing and the ecosystem that drives it. 1/ST RACING drives the best-in-class horse racing operations at the company’s premier racetracks and training centers including: Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and San Luis Rey Downs (California); Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series and Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center (Florida); the Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course – home of the legendary Preakness Stakes, Rosecroft Raceway and Bowie Training Center (Maryland). 1/ST CONTENT is the newly formed operating group for 1/ST’s media and content companies including: Monarch Content Management, Elite, GWS and XBTV. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is horse racing’s largest racing and gaming technology company offering world-class products via its AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix brands. 1/ST EXPERIENCE blends the worlds of sports, entertainment and hospitality through innovative content development, elevated national and local venue management and hospitality, strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and procurement development. 1/ST PROPERTIES is responsible for the development of the company’s live, work and play communities surrounding its racing venues including: The Village at Gulfstream Park (Florida) and Paddock Pointe (Maryland). As the advocate for critical industry reforms and by making meaningful investments into aftercare programs for retired horses and jockeys, 1/ST HORSE CARE represents The Stronach Group’s commitment to achieving the highest level of horse and rider care and safety standards in Thoroughbred horse racing on and off the track. For more information, please visit


About the Maryland Jockey Club

Established in 1743, the Maryland Jockey Club was founded over 30 years before the start of the Revolutionary War and is chartered as the oldest sporting organization in North America. Maryland’s “gem,” the Maryland Jockey Club is the premier sports and entertainment destination for world-class Thoroughbred horse racing between Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C. Maryland Jockey Club operates Pimlico Race Course – home of the world-famous Preakness Stakes – and Laurel Park Race Course. For more information, please visit


About MICA

Acknowledged nationally as a premier leader in art and design education, MICA is deliberately cultivating a new generation of artist – one that is capable of seamlessly integrating innovation, entrepreneurship and creative citizenship with contemporary approaches to art, design and media. MICA is redefining the role of the artists and designers as creative, solutions-oriented makers and thinkers who will drive social, cultural, and economic advancement for our future. As the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation, MICA is located in Baltimore, deeply connected to the community. It is a leading contributor to the creative economy regionally and a top producer of nationally and internationally recognized professional artists and designers. For more information, please visit


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