Fiftyshadesofhay, sent to post as the 5/2 second choice, made a late charge down the middle of the Pimlico track under the red hot Joel Rosario to win the Grade 2 $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Marathon Lady took the lead at the top of the Pimlico stretch, pulling away from the early leaders, but didn't have enough left in the tank to hold off the winner. Long shot Toasting rallied to finished third.
Fiftyshadesofhay raced further back in the field than in many of her recent races, but the addition of blinkers by trainer Bob Baffert appeared to improve her focus in the later stages as she kept running at the leaders even when it appeared her chances to win were slipping away.
Jockey Joel Rosario once again rode a magnificent race even faced with a less than ideal circumstances. Despite his filly running further back in the pack that is her norm, Rosario patiently settled her into a good rhythm, moved her into the clear after coming off the far turn, and gave her a strong ride to the finish. Rosario will ride Orb in Saturday's Preakness.
Post time favorite Emollient broke poorly from the gate and never got into the race after running in tight quarters down the backstretch.
Fiftyshadesofhay is a three-year-old filly by Pulpit out of a Real Quiet mare (Quiet Kim), trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Joel Rosario.
Manuka Honey and Walkwithapurpose scratched from the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in the morning of the race, leaving a field of seven at post time.
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes:
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