Racing News

Fiftyshadesofgold to train up to Fair Grounds Oaks

  • Fiftyshadesofgold (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Promising three-year-old filly Fiftyshadesofgold lived up to her star billing last Saturday night at Sam Houston by winning the Two Altazano Stakes in effortless fashion.

The Clarence Scharbauer Jr. homebred daughter of My Golden Song was making her return to action following an injury last August at Saratoga, and drew clear by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Rosie Napravnik.

Trainer Bret Calhoun reported that his gray filly came out of the race in good order and vanned back to his Fair Grounds base on Sunday morning.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Calhoun said of her comeback race. "She closed just the way we wanted and wasn't used too hard. It was a nice test for stretching out, and showed us she is screaming for two turns."

Fiftyshadesofgold opened her career with a dominating 10-length romp in a maiden special weight at Lone Star Park last May. The Texas-bred miss captured the Debutante at Churchill Downs next out by eight lengths and then finished a close fourth, before being placed third, in the August 11 Adirondack at Saratoga.

Calhoun has decided that Fiftyshadesofgold will remain at Fair Grounds and train for the Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 29, Louisiana Derby Day, as a prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 2.

The only downside of the filly's performance last Saturday was her post race winner's circle appearance where she kicked Calhoun's longtime assistant, Jay Severs, hard in the shin.

The force of the impact tore a hole in his jeans and had the affable assistant limping that evening.

"I have stood beside horses in close to 4,000 photos and never been kicked," Severs said. "She full on got me. A friend called me and asked if I was going to call a doctor or a lawyer!"

Fiftyshadesofgold's victory was not the only highlight of the week for Calhoun, who learned he is one of the inductees into the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame which will take place on March 12 at the track.

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