Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The race is open to three-year-old fillies willing to race one and one-eighth miles on the dirt and currently offers a purse of $300,000. The Black-Eyed Susan was given graded stakes race status in 1973 and has been a Grade II event since 1976.
The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes was first run in 1919 as the Pimlico Oaks, in 1952 the name was changed to its present style to compliment the Preakness Stakes and to acknowledge the Maryland State flower. The inaugural edition was won by Milkmaid who went on to earn United States Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly honors. Milkmaid's owner J. K. L. Ross had a very good 1919 racing campaign, also winning the first U.S. Triple Crown with the colt Sir Barton.
In its 88th running in 2012, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes is one of three races that are the de facto distaff counterparts to the Triple Crown races, along with the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs and the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park. They have not, however, been officially referred to as the "Filly Triple Crown." That distinction goes to three races run at Belmont and Saratoga Race Course in New York, now officially called the Triple Tiara to avoid trademark conflicts. However, consideration has been given within the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), the sport's governing body in the United States, to change the Triple Tiara series to the Kentucky Oaks, Black-Eyed Susan and Acorn.
Sixteen fillies that won The Black-Eyed Susan went on to be named a Champion according to the Maryland Jockey Club, those fillies include; Silverbulletday, Serena's Song, Davona Dale, Office Queen, Airmans Guide, Real Delight, Wistful III, But Why Not, Gallorette, Twilight Tear, Vagrancy, Fairy Chant, Nellie Morse, Maid at Arms, Cleopatra and Milkmaid.
Davona Dale is the only filly to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, Kentucky Oaks, Acorn Stakes, Mother Goose Stakes, and Coaching Club American Oaks. Nellie Morse is the only winner to also win the Preakness Stakes. The Kentucky Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, and the Acorn Stakes are the counterparts to the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, held at Churchill Downs, Pimlico Race Course and Belmont Park, respectively. The "Filly Triple Crown", known as the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, is a series of three races at the Belmont Park. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has considered changing the Triple Tiara series to the three counterparts of the Triple Crown.