Fiftyshadesofhay made the most of her latest trip from California with a powerful 3 1/2-length victory in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino June 29 (VIDEO).
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, Fiftyshadesofhay won the grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in her previous start May 17. She also shipped from her Southern California base for that event.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, Fiftyshadesofhay won for the fourth time in 10 career starts to push her earnings to $612,490. Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Fiftyshadesofhay is by Pulpit out of the Real Quiet mare Quiet Kim.
Dispatched as the 13-10 favorite in a field of 10 in the Iowa Oaks, Fiftyshadesofhay was sent from the gate from the outside post but had to settle for third heading into the first turn as So Many Ways, the second choice, grabbed the lead from post 2. Garcia was content to keep his filly just off the pace three-wide as So Many Ways, tracked by Canticle, went the first quarter-mile in :23.12 on a fast track.
So Many Ways, winner of the grade III Eight Belles Stakes in her previous start in early May and the grade I Spinaway Stakes at 2, was committed to the lead by Calvin Borel. She passed the half-mile marker in :46.73 as Fiftyshadesofhay ranged up to her outside. The latter gradually took over after six furlongs in 1:11.62, fought off a brief comeback by So Many Ways, and pulled away late to win impressively over Seaneen Girl, who lost ground on the far turn but regrouped late to grab the place spot.
So Many Ways finished third, with Hitechnoweenie fourth. The time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.65.
Fiftyshadesofhay returned $4.60, $3, and 2.20, while Seaneen Girl paid $5.80 and $3.80. So Many Ways returned $3.20 to show. The exacta was worth $27.40 while the trifecta paid $93.20.
Fiftyshadesofhay broke her maiden in her fourth start last fall at Betfair Hollywood Park, and this year won the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) and finished second and third, respectively, behind Beholder in the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks (both gr. I).