BALTIMORE, 05-17-13– Karl Watson, Michael E. Pegram & Paul Weitman’s Fiftyshadesofhay closed with a rush to claim a narrow victory in the 89th running of the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico Race Course.
Trained by Bob Baffert, the daughter of Pulpit rated off the pace under jockey Joel Rosario before launching an outside stretch run and reeling in Marathon Lady by a neck at the finish. Fiftyshadesofhay ran the 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies in 1:52.73. Toasting, who pressed the pace under Javier Castellano, finished third.
Emollient, the 4-5 favorite ridden by Mike Smith, had trouble leaving the starting gate and was never a serious factor during a sixth-place finish.
Fiftyshadesofhay broke her maiden at Hollywood Park last year and won the San Ysabel (G3) at Santa Anita in January. She most recently finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 6.
Fiftyshadesofhay paid $6.60.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN STAKES QUOTES
Bob Baffert (trainer, Fiftyshadesofhay, winner)– “I wasn’t sure turning for home because I told Rosario that she usually runs 1-2-3, but ride her the way you feel you should ride her. Rosario sort of did his own thing today, but it was the right thing.”
Joel Rosario (jockey, Joel Rosario, winner)– “It was kind of a perfect trip, but she was kind of slowing a little bit from the dirt in her face. I got her on the outside and she looked like she was really comfortable. Right when I went past the three-eighths pole before turning for home, she kind of got away from me a little bit. I was kind of worried about it, but she was able to get it back together and she kept going. Bob (Baffert) told me, ‘She’s just one-paced, so keep her going.’ So I think it was a little bit better to keep her on the outside. When I passed the sixteenth-pole I could see that the horse in front of me was backing up a little. That’s when I felt better.
Steve Hobby (trainer, Marathon Lady, 2nd)– “She ran huge. She ran her tail off. She had a great trip. I don’t know what we could have done any different.
Robby Albarado (jockey, Marathon Lady, 2nd)– “I had a lot of horse under me the entire race. Something must have happened to Mike’s (Smith) filly (Emollient) in the gate, because I thought she’d be up front. I found myself lying third and very comfortable at every point. I thought I had it won until right before the wire.”
Javier Castellano (jockey, Toasting, 3rd)– “She was great today. They put the blinkers on her and she pulled me all the way. I’m happy with what she did against the best 3-year-olds in the country. She stepped up and showed us her class today.”
Bill Mott (trainer, Emollient, 6th) “She had a pretty good stumble leaving the gate, which didn’t help. Obviously, she got back a little further and had to overcome that. It looked like to me she might have been fighting that racetrack. The main track may not be her best surface, so you might see her try the turf course next time.”
Mike Smith (jockey, Emollient, 6th)– “She stumbled out of the gate really bad, and she caught her leg. It was pretty much over for us after that.”
About Pimlico Race Course
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.