Anyone even peripherally aware of Maryland horseracing has to recognize the name Allaire du Pont. The late Mrs. du Pont’s Bohemia Stables and Woodstock Farm were powerhouses in the racing game.
She also bred and owned the only horse to win “Horse of the Year” honors a record five times, Kelso.
She didn’t confine her activities to her own racing interests, however; she was also one of the principals in the Northview Stallion Station and a board member of Thoroughbred Charities of America, which raises money to support retired racehorses (and which has been so successful that it now supports many charities in the industry for both people and horses). An extraordinary philanthropist, Mrs. du Pont was honored in 2005 as Maryland Life’s inaugural Marylander of Distinction.
To help you enjoy a race of distinction—the Preakness—here is a recipe for artichoke dip that Mrs. du Pont graciously contributed to my book, Racing to the Table. It serves 4-6, but can easily be multiplied to accommodate all your posttime guests.
1 (14 oz.) can artichokes in brine
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. good-quality mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
Dash of cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain the artichokes thoroughly and chop fine. Put them in an ovenproof dish or casserole. Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, and cayenne pepper together; blend well. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the artichokes and blend completely. Bake until the edges are brown and the mixture is bubbly. Serve with thinly sliced baguettes or sturdy crackers.