08/12/2013 5:05PM

Saratoga: Velazquez picks up mount on Fiftyshadesofhay

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Fiftyshadesofhay, the winner of the Iowa Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, will have John Velazquez aboard for Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama Stakes.

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Of the nine stakes John Velazquez has won at this meet, six have come for his primary client, trainer Todd Pletcher. On Saturday, Velazquez will be in the enemy camp when he rides Fiftyshadesofhay against the Pletcher-trained Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

“He was open,” trainer Bob Baffert said about using Velazquez, who from Aug. 3-11 won five graded events: the Whitney, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Hall of Fame, Fourstardave, and Saratoga Special.

Fiftyshadesofhay enters the Alabama off victories in the Black-Eyed Susan, under Joel Rosario, and Iowa Oaks, under Martin Garcia, both since blinkers were added.

On Monday, Fiftyshadesofhay completed her training for the Alabama with a five-furlong drill in 1:01 at Del Mar.

Fiftyshadesofhay is scheduled to leave for Saratoga on Wednesday on a flight that originates in California and stops in Chicago to drop off horses like Indy Point for the Arlington Million and Marketing Mix for the Beverly D.

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