Updated on 05/17/2013 5:32PM

Black-Eyed Susan: Fiftyshadesofhay gets up late under Rosario

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Barbara D. Livingston
Fiftyshadesofhay (left) gets up to beat Marathon Lady by a neck in the Black-Eyed Susan.

BALTIMORE – When trainer Bob Baffert gave instructions to jockey Joel Rosario prior to Friday’s $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, he told the rider that his 3-year-old filly Fiftyshadesofhay usually likes to be in the first three positions early in the race.

When Baffert saw that Rosario had Fiftyshadesofhay in sixth position around the first turn, Baffert thought, “Oh boy, this is something new!”

But in what has become Joel Rosario’s world, Fiftyshadesofhay rallied in the stretch to wear down 12-1 leader Marathon Lady and take the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan by a neck at Pimlico Race Course. It was 4 1/2 lengths back to Toasting in third. She was followed in the order of finish by Maracuya, Petit Trianon, Emollient – the 4-5 favorite – and Lady Banks.

The win was third from nine starts for Fiftyshadesofhay, a daughter of Pulpit owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman.

It also was the third victory in the Black-Eyed Susan for Baffert. He won this race in 2004 with Yearly Report and in 1999 with Silverbulletday.

The win also kept the 28-year-old Rosario on quite the roll. It was his 14th graded stakes win of the year, eighth since April 6 including the Kentucky Derby aboard Orb. And that doesn’t count the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Rosario won 17 graded stakes in all of 2012.

“Is he a riding son of a [gun] or what?” Baffert said.

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Live updates and live video from Pimlico]

Though Fiftyshadesofhay broke well out of the gate, she was climbing from the dirt being kicked back at her and was fifth entering the first turn. Emollient, who stumbled at the start, moved up inside of Fiftyshadesofhay who was then sixth of seven around the turn.

The pace was contested, though not swift, as Maracuya ran a quarter in 23.01 seconds and a half in 48.71 while being pressed by Toasting. Marathon Lady made it three wide entering the far turn, and that rival took the lead at the quarter pole.

Meanwhile, Rosario was still in fourth and pumping to keep in contention. In the stretch, Fiftyshadesofhay was moving, but she veered toward the rail.

Inside the three-sixteenths pole, Rosario abruptly moved Fiftyshadesofhay to the outside of Toasting, and she took off after Marathon Lady and Robby Albarado, collaring that rival in the final strides.

Fiftyshadesofhay covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.73 and returned $6.60 as the 2-1 second choice.

“When I turned for home, I never thought I was going to get there,” Rosario said. “When I passed the sixteenth pole, I could see the horse in front of me she was backing up a little bit. I knew I was in good shape.”

Asked about the roll he’s on, Rosario, who will ride Orb in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, said “I love that. Just hopefully it keeps going.”

In her return to dirt following a nine-length win in the Grade 1 Ashland over Keeneland’s synthetic surface, Emollient stumbled at the start and never really gained contention after that, finishing a well-beaten sixth.

“I just think a different surface is going to suit her better,” trainer Bill Mott said. “She did stumble leaving there, which didn’t help.”

Jewel Green More than 1 year ago
Rosario, Rosario, Rosario How did Marathon Lady lose that race. I Had at (12-1) in all the exotics. Rosario is on a good luck streak that with the derby will go cold just like every good rider which he is nothing more. Makes mistakes just like everyone else just hot right now.
chairmanwong0 More than 1 year ago
Trainer instructions are useful when things unravel as planned from the start. When they dont, hope you have a good jockey. Betting rosario angle is enough to laugh all the way to the bank.
Tom F More than 1 year ago
For all the east coast folks who seem befuddled by this Rosario guy, let me inform you. Under the tutelage of Jerry Hollendorfer up at Golden Gate, he made his way to the big stage at Santa Anita, Hollywood, and Del Mar several years back. Realizing GoGo and Raphy were too much to contend with, he bolted for greener pastures.
Platano Lajara More than 1 year ago
Your very funny rafeal one of the worst riders and Gomez he is great east coast has more better riders then out there Joel wins in any track he was killimg rafeal in Cali inthe standing wtf are u babbling about Joel Rosario is the best young rider out there since him coming to the USA
MD23 More than 1 year ago
Rosario is one of the best riders in the country. He's one of the best finishers and horses run for him. And he was beating Rafael and Gomez in the jockey standings. So you are very wrong sir.
Jewel Green More than 1 year ago
GOGO and Bejarano are definitely better than Joel Rosario. He is on a hot streak lucky right now nothing more. A very good rider but I doubt great or some wagering angle
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Emollient just didn't want any part of the race, from the stumble at the gate to the mid pack jam. You could see her throwing her head side to side and was essentially saying NO! Lol! Congrats, again, to Joel, FSoH, BB and all the connections. Joel won this race for Bob. He did it his way, not Bafferts, IMHO !
Tom F More than 1 year ago
Baffert owns Pimlico.......has for a long time. West Coast!! And when Joel came east and had some trouble initially, east coast hacks were skeptical to say the least. Well now what?
Irish Central More than 1 year ago
track playing to closers? good news for orb if so
Rachel Harding More than 1 year ago
All day the closers have run down the pace setters or the pace setters have tired out. So yea id say it was playing to closers. Thats only counting the races run on the dirt.
Robert Johnson More than 1 year ago
Rosario
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Baffert
Edward More than 1 year ago
50shadesofhay
Matt More than 1 year ago
Governor charlie
Matt More than 1 year ago
Tacos!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
NOT!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Haha! There is no other.
Cleon Silence More than 1 year ago
i wonder if Lukas has a chance with one of his chargers like