Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Post time favorite Fiftyshadesofhay rallied down the middle of the track to capture Sunday's $250,000 Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park.
The 4-year-old filly, ridden by John Velazquez, was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the mile stakes versus five rivals. My Wandy's Girl was also listed at 8-5 with Grace Hall and Six Queens the 9-2 co-third picks.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Fiftyshadesofhay was biding her time up the backstretch in fifth as Six Queens and My Wandy's Girl set the pace. Grace Hall was fourth behind Parc Monceau.
Grace Hall began to advance as the field entered the far turn and Fiftyshadesofhay moved between horses around the turn gaining second behind My Wandy's Girl.
My Wandy's Girl had the lead at the top of the stretch as Fiftyshadesofhay and Grace Hall moved to her outside. Fiftyshadesofhay went past My Wandy's Girl inside the furlong pole and posted a three-quarters length victory over Grace Hall who nosed out My Wandy's Girl.
Six Queens finished fourth followed by Toasting and Parc Monceau.
The time for the Ruffian was 1:35.70 on a fast track.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Fiftyshadesofhay recorded her first win of the year after a pair of out-of-the-money finishes. The win was worth $150,000 and pushes the filly's career earnings to $946,547 with five wins in 16 starts.
This year at Santa Anita, the filly was fourth in the La Canada and sixth in the Santa Margarita. Last year Fiftyshadesofhay won the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico and the Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows.
Fiftyshadesofhay paid $5.40, $3.70 and $2.50. Grace Hall returned $4.70 and $2.60, and My Wandy's Girl paid $2.50 to show.