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Breeders Cup 2015
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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Fiftyshadesofhay Takes the Black-Eyed Susan

Fiftyshadesofhay wins 2013 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
In the 89th running of Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico, it was Bob Baffert, and blinkers, and no more Beholder, as Fiftyshadesofhay got up to win by a neck.
Baffert put blinkers on the Pulpit filly for the first time, and she was not running against Beholder, to whom she had lost her last two races. Baffert explained why he made the equipment change, “With the addition of blinkers we wanted her to, and she could, settle better. Without blinkers we had to encourage her to stay in a race.”
It certainly didn’t hurt that, with the race on the east coast, America’s hottest jockey Joel Rosario got in the saddle. Baffert said, “I told Rosario to just ride your race, whatever you think. See how she breaks and keep her comfortable and just ride her Rosario style.” In 2013 Rosario style has come to mean another win in a big race.
Rosario described that race, “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. 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.”
Front-runner Maracuya set the pace for the first six furlongs in 1:13.26. Second place finisher, Marathon Lady, then had the lead by more than three lengths in the stretch, but Fiftyshadesofhay ran her down.
The 4-5 favorite Emollient finished off the board, and was never in contention, after her nine-length victory in the Ashland (G1) on the polytrack at Keeneland. Trainer Bill Mott felt, “It looked like to me like 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.”
Fiftyshadesofhay carried the familiar red and yellow colors of owner Mike Pegram to win the $500,000 grade two stake making the third win of her career. She covered the nine furlongs in 1:52.73 and paid $6.60 as the betting second choice.
Nine Black-Eyed Susan winners have gone on to be champion three year-old filly including Twilight Tear, Davona Dale, Royal Delta, Serena’s Song, and Silverbulletday.
Interestingly, Orb’s second dam, Mesabi Maiden had her lone stakes victory when she won the Black-Eyed Susan in 1996. Coincidence or not, she was owned by Stuart Janney III and bred by Janney and Ogden Phipps and was trained by Shug McGaughey.  


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Older Comments about Fiftyshadesofhay Takes the Black-Eyed Susan...

Fiftyshadesofhay earned a 92 BSF in the B-ES.
the standardbred community has much more exotic equipment to do the same thing: one that is particularly interesting is a device akin to putting plastic straws perpendicular to the upper circumference of a large shadow roll so the animal has a blocked view at multiple slots ahead and keeps them going forward and not looking at the competition moving up along side of it....Innovative and effective
Blinkers ONLY give the animal a field of view with less to distract them..This dogmatic belief that they someonehow are going to magically transfer them to becoming a front runner is crap.
Sully--I, too, was confused about this horse adding blinkers, Rosario is a magic man right now.
I'd like to know who in their right mind thought Fiftyshadesofhay would play the come from behind role with blinkers added? Especially when Baffert stated he added them because he wanted her to show more speed??? Joel just has the magic touch these days. Reminds me of Rodney Dickens. Really hope he stays out of trouble.
@Zatt. I played a $.10 super, and I hit every horse EXCEPT my fourth horse was Emollient, who didn't come in (Boo-hoo, I lost $2.40)... But, I did hit Fiftyshadesofhay WP... Anyone notice how Pimlico (I was there, and will be tomorrow!) was playing towards stalkers? This is G-d's way of saying: BET ORB!!!! :P.
She looked really good, but Marathon Lady has to find the winner's circle eventually. She's had some tough losses.
Uggh, I thought Marathon Lady had her ... Baffert beats me again!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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