Brown to handle Preakness award honors

When the owner of the winning horse in the 2013 Preakness Stakes mounts the podium to strains of "Maryland, My Maryland" to accept the Woodlawn Vase Saturday,  Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown will make the presentation.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's office said Thursday that while the governor will make his customary visit to Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Day, he will duck out early to attend to a family obligation.

Brown is an announced candidate for governor in 2014, when O'Malley can't run for re-election because of term limits, and can presumably use the exposure. Over the past year, O'Malley has frequently asked Brown, his political partner and favored candidate, to stand in for him at important public occasions.

Brown has accompanied O'Malley to the Preakness before, but spokesman Jared Smith said this is the first time since taking office in 2007 that the lieutenant governor will hand over the trophy -- an event usually carried on national TV.