Jan, Mace, and Samantha Siegel's Miss Pickums moved past 2-1 second wagering choice Nasty Storm inside the final sixteenth-mile to win the $223,200 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) Saturday over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. Under substitute rider Justin Vitek, the 2-year-old filly completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.84.
"It was nice to pick up the mount," said Vitek, who was named to ride Miss Pickums after Charlie Woods took off his mounts due to swelling in his knee. "Paul (McGee, trainer of Miss Pickums) gave me a shot today and I really appreciate it. The horse kept me in the hunt the whole way."
Cash Deal, who went to her knees at the start of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), was sent off as the 9-5 favorite. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained filly again had a troubled start, breaking a bit slowly before bearing out into Miss Pickums. Cash Deal put the trouble behind her and rushed to the early lead as the field entered the first turn. Cash Deal led by 1 1/2 lengths on the backstretch, completing the first half-mile in :48.22 and six furlongs in 1:14.76. Miss Pickums, who kept within striking distance while saving ground, swung out approaching the stretch as Nasty Storm made the lead. Nasty Storm built a three-length lead in the stretch but tired late in the race as Miss Pickums swept by to win by three lengths. My White Corvette closed from last for third but never threatned, finishing 8 1/4 lengths behind Nasty Storm. Cash Deal came home another 6 1/4 lengths back in fourth and was followed to the wire by Selassie, Brighton Way, Haitian Vacation, Katie My Lady, and Shirley Temper.
"I was worried when I had to wait for the hole to open at the top of the stretch," said Vitek. "It was a bad situation to be in, but it worked out."
The win was the second in a stakes race for Miss Pickums, who previously won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park in September. Following her initial stakes win, Miss Pickums (Afternoon Deelites--Manila Rain, by Manila) finished fourth --beaten by only two lengths -- in the Walmac International Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland and fifth in the Pocahontas at Churchill. The filly earned $138,384 for the victory, her third in seven starts. She was bred in Kentucky by Ted Shapiro and Burt Bacharach.
Sent off at just under 10-1, Miss Pickums paid $21.80, $9 and $5.60. Nasty Storm returned $4 and $3.40 and My White Corvette paid $4.20. The winning exacta combination was worth $49.20.
McGee said Miss Pickums will be shipped to Gulfstream Park and that no decision had yet been made on her next start. (Chart, Equibase