Mermaid Stakes

The Mermaid Stakes was an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Sheepshead Bay Race Track in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. An important event for three-year-old fillies, the race was run on dirt over a distance of one mile and one furlong until 1910 when it was set at one mile.[1]

Mermaid Stakes
Discontinued stakes race
LocationSheepshead Bay Race Track
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York
Race typeThoroughbredFlat racing
Race information
Distance1 mile (8 furlongs)
QualificationThree-year-old fillies

First run in 1880, there was no race from 1895 through 1901. During the twenty-four years the race was held, it was won by eight Champions of which four would be elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The final running in 1910 was won by Lily Livingston's Amelia Jenks in a major upset over Ocean Bound, the undefeated 1909 American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.[2]

On June 11, 1908, the Republican controlled New York Legislature under Governor Charles Evans Hughes passed the Hart–Agnew anti-betting legislation with penalties allowing for fines and up to a year in prison.[3] The owners of Sheepshead Bay Race Track, and other racing facilities in New York State, struggled to stay in business without betting.[4] Racetrack operators had no choice but to drastically reduce the purse money being paid out which by 1909 saw the Mermaid Stakes offering a purse that was as little as one-third of what it had been in earlier years.[5] Further restrictive legislation was passed by the New York Legislature in 1910 which deepened the financial crisis for track operators and led to a complete shut down of racing across the state during 1911 and 1912. When a Court ruling saw racing return in 1913 it was too late for the Sheepshead Bay horse racing facility and it never reopened.

Champions who won the Mermaid Stakes:

  1. Miss Woodford (HoF)
  2. Firenze (HoF)
  3. Yorkville Belle
  4. Beldemere
  5. Beldame (HoF)
  6. Perverse
  7. Stamina
  8. Maskette (HoF)


Speed record:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:


1910 Amelia Jenks Matt McGee Matthew Feakes Lily A. Livingston 1 M 1:39.40 $1,450
1909 Maskette Richard Scoville James G. Rowe Sr. James R. Keene 118 M 1:52.00 $3,990
1908 Stamina Eddie Dugan A. Jack Joyner Harry Payne Whitney 118 M 1:53.00 $4,875
1907 Yankee Girl Herman Radtke George P. Brazier Charles R. Ellison 118 M 1:54.80 $4,870
1906 Perverse Lucien Lyne John W. Rogers Harry Payne Whitney 118 M 1:54.00 $3,600
1905 Tradition Willie Davis A. Jack Joyner Sydney Paget 118 M 1:58.60 $4,360
1904 Beldame Frank O'Neill Fred Burlew Newton Bennington 118 M 1:54.40 $5,570
1903 Daisy Green John Bullman Harry M. Mason John N. Follansbee 118 M 1:59.60 $4,480
1902 Gunfire Tommy Burns John W. Rogers William C. Whitney 118 M 1:54.80 $3,315
1895 – 1901 Race not held
1894 Beldemere Willie Simms Edward Feakes Preakness Stables 118 M 1:56.00 $5,160
1893 Afternoon Samuel Doggett John W. Rogers Samuel S. Brown 118 M 1:56.80 $3,510
1892 Yorkville Belle Isaac Burns Murphy Matthew M. Allen Frank A. Ehret 118 M 2:00.60 $3,810
1891 Equity George Taylor John Huggins J. Gardner Cassatt 118 M 1:56.20 $4,400
1890 Her Highness Anthony Hamilton James G. Rowe Sr. August Belmont Sr. 118 M 1:57.00 $5,080
1889 She Edward Garrison James G. Rowe Sr. August Belmont Sr. 118 M 1:56.00 $4,730
1888 Bella B Jim McLaughlin Frank McCabe Dwyer Brothers Stable 118 M 1:57.25 $5,280
1887 Firenze Jim McLaughlin Matthew Byrnes James Ben Ali Haggin 118 M 1:56.00 $4,340
1886 Bandala Fred Littlefield Charles Boyle Richmond Stable 118 M 2:02.00 $3,870
1885 Wanda Harris Olney Matthew Byrnes Rancocas Stable 118 M 1:59.50 $3,470
1884 Duchess William Donohue Evert V. Snedecker E. V. Snedeker & Co. 118 M 1:59.00 $3,150
1883 Miss Woodford Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe Sr. Dwyer Brothers Stable 118 M 1:58.25 $3,600
1882 Hiawasse Edward Feakes Matthew Byrnes Pierre Lorillard IV 118 M 1:57.25 $2,700
1881 Thora William Donohue James Lee Charles Reed 118 M 1:57.00 $2,150
1880 Glidelia William Donohue George Rice William M. Conner 118 M 1:59.50 $1950


  1. ^ "The Mermaid Stakes Today". Daily Racing Form. 1909-07-07. Retrieved 2018-11-07 – via University of Kentucky Archives.
  2. ^ "Ocean Bound Beaten By A Carless Ride". New York Times. 1910-07-01. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  3. ^ "Penalties in the New York Bills". Daily Racing Form. 1908-01-18. Retrieved 2018-10-26 – via University of Kentucky Archives.
  4. ^ "Keep Up Betting Ban". New York Times. 1908-09-01. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  5. ^ "Striking Falling off in Value of Ten Greatest Stakes". Daily Racing Form. 1910-07-16. Retrieved 2018-10-15 – via University of Kentucky Archives.