Godolphin’s 2-year-old filly Famed, the half-sister to champion colt Essential Quality, will face off against Susan Moulton’s dominant 10 ¾-length winner of the $200,000 Rags to Riches Sandstone in Saturday’s $400,000 Golden Rod (Grade II), a race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod will award the Top 4 fillies points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward the May 6 Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). The Golden Rod, which goes as Race 10 at 5:27 p.m., is one of four stakes events on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program from Churchill Downs. The others are the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), $200,000 Lively Shively and $200,000 Fern Creek. First post is 1 p.m.
Trained by Brad Cox, Famed has been well-backed in both of her two-career starts. She broke her maiden last out at Keeneland by 7 ¾ lengths at odds of 2-5. In her debut, the Uncle Mo filly finished second as the 4-5 favorite against 45-1 longshot Sweet Dani Girl. Famed will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post the rail.
The Kenny McPeek-trained Sandstone has won her last two races by a combined 19 ¾ lengths under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. The filly by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense debuted at 5 ½ furlongs in late May and finished fifth, beaten 7 ¾ lengths to stablemate and eventual $150,000 Debutante Stakes winner Behave Virginia. In her second start, at one-mile, Sandstone dusted her rivals at odds of 5-1. Her first start around two-turns was the Rags to Riches, the local prep to the Golden Rod, where she was the slight 5-2 upset winner over Yuugiri. Hernandez will once again have the call from post No. 4.
The full field for the Golden Rod from the inside out (with jockey and trainer): Famed (Geroux, Cox); Cancel This (Joel Rosario, Dale Romans); Secret Oath (David Cohen, D. Wayne Lukas); Sandstone (Hernandez, McPeek); Hal’s Dream (Corey Lanerie, McPeek); Yuugiri (Tyler Gaffalione, Rodolphe Brisset); Dream Lith (Ramon Vazquez, Robertino Diodoro); and Code for Success (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver).