01/16/2015 1:50PM

Graded stakes winner Fiftyshadesofgold booked to Tapit

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Barbara D. Livingston
Fiftyshadesofgold will be bred to leading sire Tapit this season.

Fiftyshadesofgold, a Grade 3 winner last spring at Churchill Downs, has been retired and is to be bred to Tapit, said Ken Carson, a representative of the horse’s owner, Doug Scharbauer. Fiftyshadesofgold, whose most prestigious win came in the Eight Belles last May, is now based at Hidden Brook Farm in Paris, Ky.

“She’s booked to Tapit,” said Carson, general manager of Valor Farm, the Texas operation of the Scharbauer family. “Doug is crazy about him. We watched Untapable all season. And it’s a good fit pedigree-wise.”

Fiftyshadesofgold, a daughter of the Unbridled’s Song stallion My Golden Song, was retired due to a small suspensory tear, said Carson. She last raced in September, and finished fifth in the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill. Overall, Fiftyshadesofgold retires with a record of four wins from nine starts for earnings of $420,521.

In addition to the Eight Belles, Fiftyshadesofgold captured another Churchill stakes, the Debutante. Her career also took her to New York, where she finished fourth in a pair of Grade 1 races last year, the Acorn and Test. Earlier in the season, Fiftyshadesofgold had played runner-up to Untapable, eventual winner of the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff, in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in March. 

Bret Calhoun trained Fiftyshadesofgold, and Carson credited Calhoun with giving the filly a chance at graded competition after she won her debut in a maiden special weight for Texas-breds at Lone Star Park.

“He designed all that,” Carson said. “He kept telling me she was a special filly. He gets the credit for designing all that.”

Fiftyshadesofgold was bred by the late Clarence Scharbauer, Jr., whose family raced 1988 Horse of the Year Alysheba. Fiftyshadesofgold raced for Clarence Scharbauer, Jr., through her win in the $75,000 Two Altazano division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on Feb. 15, 2014.

“That was the last race he saw,” Carson said. “She won on Saturday night and he passed away the next Friday. He watched that race over and over again at his house.”

Fiftyshadesofgold is from the Hadif mare Hadif Cat, who also produced the stakes winners Sword Trick, an earner of $210,130, and Tastefullyxcessive, who banked $146,608. Fiftyshadesofgold’s fourth dam is Bel Sheba, the dam of Alysheba.