Fiftyshadesofgold might have put herself on a path toward the Kentucky Oaks on Saturday night, when she returned from a layoff of more than six months to win the $75,000 Two Altazano division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park.
Trainer Bret Calhoun said she could run next in a prep at either Oaklawn Park or Fair Grounds to see if she’s “an Oaks kind of filly.”
Fiftyshadesofgold was one of the nation’s more promising young runners last season, when she romped by eight lengths in the Debutante at Churchill Downs. The effort made her an odds-on favorite in the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga in August. But after a roughly run race in which the winner was disqualified and Fiftyshadesofgold was moved up from fourth to third, she was sidelined, coming out of the stakes with a crack in a cannon bone, according to Calhoun.
Fiftyshadesofgold ($2.80) landed in an ideal spot for her return, a race restricted to 3-year-old fillies by eligible stallions, and one she was able to enter as a Texas-bred daughter of My Golden Song. Fiftyshadesofgold was the 2-5 favorite in the seven-furlong race and did not disappoint, driving to a 2 1/2-length win over pacesetter and stablemate Scooter’s Choice.
“It went perfect, the way you’d like to draw it up, sitting off the pace and finishing like that,” Calhoun said.
Rosie Napravnik was aboard Fiftyshadesofgold, who stalked in third as Scooter’s Choice took the field through fractions of 22.74 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.23 for the half-mile. Fiftyshadesofgold advanced on the turn and worked to get past the leader through six furlongs in 1:10.54. In the late stages, she was in hand, covering the distance on a fast track in 1:23.13.
The time was quicker than the 1:23.55 that Ibaka ($13.60) put up in winning the $75,000 Jim’s Orbit division of the Texas Stallion Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings one race later. Napravnik also was aboard Ibaka for Calhoun.
Fiftyshadesofgold races for her breeder, Clarence Scharbauer Jr., whose family raced 1988 Horse of the Year Alysheba. Fiftyshadesofgold’s fourth dam, Bel Sheba, produced Alysheba.
Napravnik said Fiftyshadesofgold might prove to be at her best at two turns. Fiftyshadesofgold has won 3 of 4 starts and $142,790.
Ibaka, who rallied from off the pace to catch F J Uncle Vick for a 2 1/2-length win Saturday night, races for his breeder, Doug Wall. Ibaka is a son of Uncle Abbie.
In the third and final stakes on Saturday night’s card at Sam Houston, Quiet Acceleration ($11.40) won a head bob over Fly the Red Eye in the $50,000 Jersey Village. The final time for 1 1/16 miles on turf was 1.43.27. Gerardo Mora was aboard for Danny Pish, who bred, owns, and trains Quiet Acceleration.