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Fiftyshadesofhay wins Black-Eyed Susan

BALTIMORE (AP) - Take a Hall of Fame trainer, add the winning jockey in the Kentucky Derby and mix them both with a talented filly.

The result Friday was a thrilling victory for Fiftyshadesofhay in the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan.

Saddled by Bob Baffert and ridden by Joel Rosario, Fiftyshadesofhay used a late surge to overtake Marathon Lady and win the Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies by a neck.

The winning time over 1 1/8 miles was 1:52.73.

Fiftyshadesofhay broke her maiden at Hollywood Park last year and won the Grade 3 San Ysabel at Santa Anita in January before finishing second and third in a pair of Grade 1 races.

Rafael Bejarano was the horse's regular rider, but Baffert switched to Rosario for this race. Although it was Rosario's first trip aboard Fiftyshadesofhay in competition, it appeared as if he knew exactly how to handle her.

``Rosario sort of did his own thing today, but it was the right thing,'' Baffert said.

Fiftyshadesofhay trailed with 200 yards left before breaking outside. She was in second with 100 yards to go but outran Marathon Lady the rest of the way.

``It was kind of the perfect trip, but she was kind of slowing a little bit from the dirt in her face,'' Rosario said. ``When I passed the 16th pole I could see that the horse in front of me was backing up a little. That's when I felt better.''

The winner paid $6.60, $3.80 and $3. It's Baffert's third career win in the Black-Eyed Susan.

Marathon Lady finished second and paid $8.40 and $4.80. Toasting returned $5.40 to show. Emollient, the favorite, was sixth in the seven-horse field.

``She stumbled out of the gate really bad, and she caught her leg,'' jockey Mike Smith said.

Emollient trainer Bill Mott said, ``It looked like to me she might have been fighting that race track. The main track may not be her best surface, so you might see her try the turf course next time.''

Two horses scratched before the race, dropping the field to seven. Local entrant Walkwithapurpose withdrew with a bruised foot and Manuka Honey was pulled by trainer John Terranova after a lackluster workout.

Also Friday, 3-5 favorite Last Gunfighter won the Pimlico Special, blowing past Eighttofasttocatch before cruising to the finish.

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Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

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