Black Eyed Susan

About Black-Eyed Susan Day

Black-Eyed Susan Day History

One of Pimlico's oldest stakes races, the Black-Eyed Susan was first run at Pimlico in 1919 as the Pimlico Oaks. The name was changed in 1952 to complement the Preakness and to acknowledge the Maryland state flower. The mile and one-eighth test, for three-year-old fillies is traditionally run the Friday before the Preakness. The race was first graded in 1973 and has been a Grade II event since 1976. The Black-Eyed Susan has long been recognized as the middle jewel of the traditional filly Triple Crown, which also includes the Kentucky Oaks Stakes (at Churchill Downs) and the Acorn Stakes (at Belmont Park). Only three fillies: Wistful (1949), Real Delight (1952), and Davona Dale (1979), all owned and bred by the illustrious Calumet Farm, have ever accomplished this feat.

Photo Archive

View photos from Preakness Week Events and Black-Eyed Susan Day

The Fillies

Among the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes winners are such classic fillies as Gallorette, High Voltage, Caesar's Wish, Wide Country, and Nellie Morse, who was the only filly ever to also take the Preakness. Ten winners have also been named champion three-year-old filly including Twilight Tear, Davona Dale, Serena's Song, Silverbulletday, and in 2011, Royal Delta. The Black-Eyed Susan has also seen a number of fillies become quality broodmares. After retiring, Black-Eyed Susan runners have gone on to produce Forward Pass (Princess Turia), Pleasant Colony (Sun Colony), Alysheba (Bel Sheba), Broad Brush (Hay Patcher), Lively One (Swinging Lizzie) and Slew City Slew (Weber City Miss). Weekend Surprise, who finished third in 1983, is the dam of 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall (sire of 1999 Preakness winner Charismatic) and 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy. Vee Vee Star, third in 1999, is the dam of 2004 champion two-year-old Declan's Moon.

Black-Eyed Susan Day Cause

The Maryland Jockey Club is happy to announce the return of Black-Eyed Susan Day's "Ultimate Girls Day Out", celebrating the spirit and strength of women, Friday, May 19 at Pimlico Race Course. The Maryland Jockey Club continues its charitable endeavors by partnering with The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (, caring for Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing careers, along with Susan G. Komen® Maryland ( shining the light on women’s health.