Kathmanblu Dominant 8 1/2-Length Winner In Return To Dirt in Grade II Golden Rod

Nov 27, 2010 Gary Yunt

Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu swept to the lead at the head of the stretch and drew off by 8 ½ lengths to win the 67th running of the $163,800 Golden Rod Stakes (GII) for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Ken McPeek and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Kathmanblu raced third in the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile race as Gran Lioness led the field through fractions of :24.28 and :48.85.

At the midway point of the final turn, Missyoulikecrazy made the first move at Gran Lioness with Kathmanblu just to her outside. Kathmanblu shot to the lead at the head of the lane and never was threatened in completing the distance on a fast main track in 1:44.48.

The victory was worth $99,525 and increased Kathmanblu’s earnings to $320,731 with a record of 3-1-1 in six starts. It was the first victory on dirt for Kathmanblu, who had won the Jessamine at Keeneland in October and then ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GII) here on Nov. 5.

Kathmanblu is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Bluegrass Cat out of the Devil’s Bag mare Abba Gold.

Favored in the field of seven, Kathmanblu returned $4.60, $3 and $2.80. Missyoulikecrazy, ridden by Robby Albarado, paid $4 and $3.40 with Suave Voir Faire finishing 1 ¼ lengths back in third under Sal Gonzalez Jr., and paying $6.40 to show.

Second-choice Aide finished three lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Gran Lioness, Sweet Deal to Win and Missed the Point.

The Fall Meet concludes Sunday with an 11-race program that begins at 12:40 p.m. (EST).


Julien Leparoux (jockey, Kathmanblu, winner): “I had a good trip. She broke good; she was very relaxed laying third. And when I asked her she finished very good. I was riding her all the way. I was waiting for the one (Aide) to come, but I looked at the TV and she obviously won easily. I don’t know how good she can be. That’s not my job; that’s the trainers’ job. I think she is really good on both turf and dirt. I think she is a very good filly on the turf. And she proved today she can run on the dirt, too. We’ve got options.”

Kenny McPeek (trainer, Kathmanblu, winner): “She is now a big time Oaks prospect. She’s not a big filly; she is a little compact filly, and as the months go on she has gotten better and better. I’ll think she will keep going as a 3-year-old. In the Breeders’ Cup she had a troubled trip; it seemed like not a whole lot went right that day. Obviously she is a good, talented filly. This time of year we got enough time to come back in three weeks here and you’re going to find out if they like this surface then you got to do it now, she was doing well so there was no hesitation at all. We will probably put her on the shelf for a while. At this point, we will take her to Gulfstream for the winter and take it one day at a time. She probably won’t run until late February or early March. I like to have two races in them before the Oaks.”

Robby Albarado (jockey, Missyoulikecrazy, second): “She will be fine. She kicked it in there late. She ran her race.”

Eddie Kenneally (trainer, Missyoulikecrazy, second): “She ran really well, we are very happy. It was her first time around two turns and the filly that just won the race just ran in the Breeders’ Cup, so we are happy with the effort our filly put forward. We had a good trip, but we just got out run. She will head down to Florida and we will look at the races at Gulfstream.”

Garrett Gomez (jockey, Aide, fourth): “I had a good trip. She didn’t quite have it today, but look for her down the road.”

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