Since his arrival on American shores from France in 1955, Pierre Bellocq has come to be known to generations of admirers by a three-letter nickname "Peb." His illustrative career spans several decades, with his work most notedly appearing in the Daily Racing Form, where his caricatures have emerged as a true institution in Thoroughbred racing.
This original watercolor by the acclaimed artist has an amazing provenance. Peb painted the piece, which served as the colorful cover for the Daily Racing Form's May 17, 1997, Preakness edition. The popular gray colt Silver Charm, owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, had won the Kentucky Derby two weeks prior and now the racing world awaited the Preakness in hopes of seeing a new Triple Crown champion.
The painting humorously depicts the Silver Charm team of the Lewises, jockey Gary Stevens, and trainer Bob Baffert as they admire a jewelry case displaying a silver necklace with three charms representing the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. In the background, Silver Charm's primary Preakness contenders -- Free House, Touch Gold and Captain Bodgit -- are cleverly incorporated in the Preakness trophy.
The art piece emanates from the personal collection of the Lewis family and is being auctioned as part of their charitable efforts to assist the Racetrack Chaplaincy. The painting is signed and dated by the artist and double-matted in a simple silver frame that measures 17.5x19.5" in total. Being the original artwork used on the cover of a national publication that chronicled a high-profile moment in racing history, and viewed by thousands globally, this piece is a very rare and significant offering.