Fiftyshadesofhay, ridden by Joel Rosario, rallied down the stretch to capture Friday's $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, sister event to the Preakness Stakes, was covered in a time of 1:52.73 on a fast track.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Fiftyshadesofhay was fourth at the top of the stretch and began a furious rally. The filly, the 2-1 second pick, was moved from the inside to the outside and was able catch Marathon Lady down the stretch to register a neck victory.
Finishing third was Toasting followed by Maracuya, Petit Trianon, 4-5 favorite Emollient and Lady Banks. Walkwithapurpose bruised her foot Thursday and was scratched as was Manuka Honey.
Emollient, ridden by Mike Smith, bobbled at the start and after moving up to fourth in the seven-horse field, never offered any competition to the leaders.
The victory is the third for Baffert, who won the event with Silverbulletday (1999) and Yearly Report (2004).
"She usually runs 1, 2, 3," Baffert said after the race. "Rosario, he did his own thing today, so it was the right thing.
"We wanted to make the (Kentucky) Oaks with her, but she got a little sick on us."
Winning jockey Joel Rosario won the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago with Orb and will again pilot the colt in Saturday's middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Fiftyshadesofhay, owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, adds $300,000 to her bankroll. The filly has won three times in nine starts for $492,490.
Fiftyshadesofhay won the Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 26 and then finished second to champion filly Beholder in the Las Virgenes. On April 6, the filly finished third to Beholder in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Fiftyshadesofhay returned $6.60, $3.80 and $3.00. Marathon Lady paid $8.40 and $4.80, and Toasting paid $5.40 to show.