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Jun 28, 2013

Fiftyshadesofhay looms large in Iowa Oaks


Altoona, IA (Sports Network) - Fiftyshadesofhay, winner of last month's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, will take on nine rivals Saturday night in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at Prairie Meadows.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Fiftyshadesofhay will be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia in the 1 1/16-mile race and leave the starting gate from the outside post in the 10-horse field.

The 3-year-old filly, owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, won the Black-Eyed Susan by a neck with Joel Rosario riding after having Rafael Bejarano in the saddle through the first eight starts of her career.

Fiftyshadesofhay won the Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 26 and then finished second to champion filly Beholder in the Las Virgenes. On April 6, the filly finished third to Beholder in the Santa Anita Oaks.

She has three wins in nine starts for $492,490.

Making her first start in eight weeks will be So Many Ways, winner of the Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3. Trained by Tom Amoss, So Many Ways will break from post 2 with Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle.

"We knew the style she likes to run, which is to come from off the pace and come around horses," Amoss said after the Eight Belles. "I want make a point clear. I just picked up where (former trainer) Tony Dutrow left off. Dutrow did a great job. He told me what to do today and it made all the difference."

So Many Ways won the Eight Belles by a half-length after being seventh at the top of the stretch.

"She's a little bit of a filly, but she's got a big heart," jockey Garrett Gomez noted following the win.

So Many Ways won the Schuylerville and Spinaway Stakes last summer at Saratoga for owner Maggi Moss and comes into Saturday's race with $424,348 in six starts and four victories.

Here is the full field for the Iowa Oaks in post position order: Seaneen Girl, Leandro Goncalves; So Many Ways, Calvin Borel; Hitechnoweenie, Terry Thompson; Braseana, Belen Quinonez; Gold Medal Dancer, Alex Birzer; Plenty O'Toole, Robby Albarado; Cloudy Vow, Pablo Morales; Glorys Last Chance, Israel Ocampo; Canticle, Ken Tohill and Fiftyshadesofhay, Martin Garcia.

The Iowa Oaks has an approximate post-time of 9:46 p.m. (ET).

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