Black-Eyed Susan Tickets
Location: Pimlico Raceway, Baltimore, Maryland
Date: Third Friday in May
Winner’s Purse: $250,000
Inaugural Race: 1919
Notable Winning Jockeys: John Velazquez and Chris McCarron
Notable Winning Trainers: Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas
Black-Eyed Susan TicketsThe Black-Eyed Susan is a graded stakes race for three-year-old fillies that is run at Pimlico Raceway on the Friday of Preakness week. The running of the Preakness on Saturday caps off the week. The grade levels awarded to stake races serve as a guide for owners, trainers, bettors and fans to the quality of the thoroughbreds who are likely to win a particular race like the Black-Eyed Susan. Thoroughbreds capable of winning graded stakes races consistently are regarded as the better racehorses with better breeding lines. Rankings of races, such as the Black-Eyed Susan, depend upon the weight carried by the horses, the distance of the race, the size of the purse and restrictions against the use of certain medications. Among the top trainers, Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas hold the title to the most wins at the Black-Eyed Susan with four each. Among the top jockeys, John Velazquez and Chris McCarron share the title for most wins, also with four each. Get your Black-Eyed Susan tickets to watch the fillies run at StubHub.
What is the history of the Black-Eyed Susan?The Black-Eyed Susan was first run in 1919 when it was known as the Pimlico Oaks, a nod to the Kentucky Oaks, the race for fillies that is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby. The name was changed to the Black-Eyed Susan in 1953 to create a stronger tie to the Preakness and its winner’s garland of the black-eyed Susan flower. The Preakness and the Black-Eyed Susan have become associated with that flower because it is the state flower of Maryland, Pimlico Raceway’s home state.
Does the Black-Eyed Susan have its own official cocktail?No, unlike the Kentucky Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan does not have its own unique cocktail. Instead, it shares the Black-Eyed Susan cocktail with the Preakness. Unlike the Mint Julep, the Black-Eyed Susan cocktail is sold only during Preakness week. The cocktail was first served in 1973, and the recipe for the cocktail varies from year to year. Reportedly, though, it always has a fruity flavor that receives mixed reviews. Some really like it, and some really loathe it. You’ll have to taste test it for yourself to decide yea or neigh.
What other activities are associated with the Black-Eyed Susan?Race day for the Black-Eyed Susan is celebrated as Black-Eyed Susan Day. The gates to Pimlico Race Track open at 9 a.m., but Sunrise Tours of the track are available from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The Turfside Terrace opens at 9:30 a.m., and the Deep Eddy Crush Bar on the Apron opens at noon. A Presentation of the Colors and the singing of the National Anthem in the Cupola Winners’ Circle precede the start of racing. Races start roughly every half hour. They are interspersed with other events on the track. The other events often take place on the first-floor grandstand, concurrently with the racing. Weather permitting, the trophy for the Black-Eyed Susan is presented in the Cupola Winners’ Circle.
Do attendees dress up for the Black-Eyed Susan?Yes, those attending the race do dress up just as they do for the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. The Hooves and Heels Fashion event features a fashion competition among all race attendees who enter. Various shades and tints of yellow and black-eyed Susan flowers are popular choices. The competition is held in the Runway on the Rail tent on the track apron.
Are there any special bets for the Black-Eyed Susan?Yes, as with the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, you can place a bet on the Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness Double. Place your bet before the start of the Black-Eyed Susan on the horses you think will win each race, and then wait until the running of the Preakness to see if you’re a winner, too.
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