HRN Original Blog:
Kentucky Oaks Runner

The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes was first inaugurated at Pimlico Race Course in 1919 and was won by Milkmaid in the same year Sir Barton became the first American Triple Crown winner. Run as the Pimlico Oaks until 1952 the race was then renamed the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in honor of the Maryland state flower and also to make a connection with the famous blanket of Black-Eyed Susan’s that are presented to the winner of the Preakness Stakes. In its first year of running the Black-Eyed Susan was contested at a distance of 1 1/16 miles but has bounced around from 1 1/16, 1 3/16 and 1 1/8 miles until 1989 when the race was set at 1 1/8 miles and has stayed that way ever since.

Several fillies have used the Black-Eyed Susan to cement their status as leading three year old performers during the race’s 86 running’s including Silverbulletday, Serena’s Song, Davona Dale, Gallorette, Twilight Tear, Vagrancy and Nellie Morse, all of whom were named divisional champions at the conclusion of their sophomore campaigns. Sixteen fillies in total have won the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and gone on to be named divisional champion. In an unofficial capacity the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes has evolved to become the second leg of a filly triple crown, run as the second leg after the Kentucky Oaks and before the Acorn Stakes (gr.1). Officially the triple for fillies is known as the Triple Tiara and consists of the Acorn Stakes, the Coaching Club American Stakes and the Alabama Stakes.

This year the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr.2) will be worth $250,000, increased from the $150,000 in 2009 and $200,000 in 2010. Not as stunning as the Kentucky Oaks (gr.1) $1 million dollar purse this year but still a prestigious event with a sizable purse. The race for three year old fillies will be contested on May 20th at Pimlico just one day before the Preakness Stakes (gr.1) and 28 fillies have been nominated for the race. Some prominent names are on the list but I would be very surprised to see them in Baltimore next weekend. Chief among those names are Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty and fellow Oaks runners Holy Heavens, Her Smile and Summer Soiree.

Two fillies that have been under consideration for several weeks are Wyomia and Royal Delta. Wyomia won the Suncoast Stakes two starts back, easily defeating Royal Delta who finished 9th in the second start of her career. In her last start Wyomia finished second in the Ashland Stakes (gr.1) while Royal Delta easily won an allowance race at Keeneland by three lengths.

More information will be coming on the prospective field early next week but some other prominent fillies listed as possible are; Big Tiz, Chloe Kate, Coax Liberty, Hearts On Fire, Hot Summer, R Holiday Mood and Salary Drive.
Image Courtesy of


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes ...

Thank you very much, I've been enjoying it a lot! Great call on Royal Delta btw, I had her and Wyomia as my top two but didn't think she would win it!
Brian, I haven't had a chance to stop by and commend you on the work you've done this season. Great stuff. I too am looking forward to the Susan. Despite her flop at Tampa, I cannot seem to shake the brilliance of Royal Delta's maiden score at Belmont. Like her chances on Friday.
I am sorry to say that I have not followed the fillies as closely as I have in the past, so I hope you have some picks and stats that will give me some ideas.
  • BrianAppleton · The fillies have really been fantastic this year, the Black-Eyed Susan should be another good race! I'll try my best to shed some light on the race. :) · 2380 days ago
Me too Brian, she would have been one of my choices in the Oaks if she had run. It looks like she's headed for a big year.
Liking Wyomia, from who we know so far.

Related Pages

 Meet Brian Appleton 

Thoroughbred Horse Racing is my passion.  It started when at the age of 9 I found a book called Come On Seabiscuit by Ralf Moody on my Mother’s shelf.  Reading that book was one of the most exciting things I ever did as a kid. I read that book so many times that I had entire chapters committed to memory and the dust jacket worn and ripped beyond recognition from so much use. From that point on I was hopelessly addicted, reading every book on horse racing I could get my hands on, especially racehorse biographies. In 2009 I began my own blog called Rail Runner on wordpress and have continued to blog there to this day.

Curlin is probably my favorite racehorse of all time. Being able to attend six of his races will always be one of the highlights of my life. Whenever I need to re-find some inspiration in my life all I need to do is watch one of his incredible victories and relive the memories. Rachel Alexandra ranks right up there too. As any horse racing fan will tell you it’s almost impossible to choose just one favorite and I am no exception. Phar Lap and Citation are another two of my all time favorites and the list could go on and on.

I was homeschooled my entire life by my parents and graduated High School in 2006 at the age of 17.  Currently I am completing my Marketing degree with the hopes of entering the Thoroughbred Horse Racing field as a writer/journalist , or in the marketing/advertising/promotions side of the industry.

It is my dream to someday become a thoroughbred racehorse owner and win major races across the United States. Who wouldn't want that, right?  For about 1 ½ years I was part owner in a racehorse, Lord Greystoke raced, and owned by Hibiscus Stables. I was able to attend one of his races at Belmont Park on Kentucky Derby day, May 2, 2009 and it was an incredible experience. While Lord Greystoke finished 7th in the race, being able to stand in an owner’s box not 30 feet away from Penny Chenery’s owner’s box was one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

Later in the year Lord Greystoke was finally able to break through with a 4 ½ length win which made me feel like one of the world’s most accomplished thoroughbred owners and further fueled my appetite. I think it would be rally neat to win the Appleton Stakes (Gr.3) at Gulfstream Park, even though I'm generally a bigger fan of dirt racing I can't help but think it would be neat for me to win a race with the same name as my last name.

That’s me in a nutshell, just a very passionate, driven young guy that wants to be a part of this amazing sport and share the adventure with other fans.

Related Stories

Top Stories