Iroquois Racing Club LLC’s Gal About Town, runner-up to Sign in the Pocahontas (Grade II), headlines a competitive field of nine 2-year-old fillies entered for Saturday’s 69th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod, a “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” Prep Season race, is co-featured with the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) on Saturday’s 12-race “Stars of Tomorrow II” program, which features racing exclusively for 2-year-olds. It will go as Race 9 at 4:35 p.m. ET and the Top 4 finishers in the Golden Rod will receive 10-4-2-1 points, respectively.
Gal About Town cruised to victory in her first two starts and had the lead in the stretch of the Pocahontas before being passed by Sign inside the eighth pole.
“I thought she ran well last time; she was just outrun,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “Everything went well, she just ran into one that was better that day. She came out of the race good and is training very well.”
The Pocahontas was the first start beyond six furlongs for the chestnut daughter of City Zip.
“I think until you try it, the (distance) is a question,” Calhoun said. “We came out of that race with a lot more confidence in her ability to go two turns based on what (jockey) Jesus (Castanon) said. He told us she galloped out very strongly. So, the distance wasn’t an issue.”
Gal About Town will break from the outside in post nine with Castanon back aboard.
The main rival for Gal About Town could be Blugrass Hall LLC’s Broken Spell, runner-up to Spring in the Air in the Darley Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland. Following that run, the Wayne Lukas-trained Broken Spell finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) at Santa Anita. A chestnut daughter of Broken Vow, Broken Spell will break from post three under Joe Rocco Jr.
The field for the Golden Rod, from the rail out (with jockey): Pow Wow Wow (Calvin Borel), Danalake (Joe Bravo), Broken Spell (Rocco Jr.), Silver Strike (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Cloudy Vow (Bridgmohan), Street of Gold (Corey Lanerie), Liberated (Jon Court), Seaneen Girl (Miguel Mena) and Gal About Town (Castanon).
In just seven years, Stars of Tomorrow – Churchill Downs’ two days of racing entirely devoted to rising 2-year-old stars – has been the launching pad for numerous graded stakes winners. Twenty-seven participants became Grade I winners, including Kentucky Derby 137 champ Super Saver, 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, recent Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned and this year’s Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can. Fifteen became millionaires: Court Vision, Rachel Alexandra, Fort Larned, Lawyer Ron, Pure Clan, Shackleford, Super Saver, Macho Again, Giant Oak, First Dude, Swift Temper, General Quarters, Fly Down, Believe You Can and Any Given Saturday.
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