Gal About Town Hopes for Oaks from Golden Rod
Gal About Town finished second best to Sign in the Oct. 28 Pocahontas (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, but trainer Bret Calhoun is hopeful she'll build off that effort and prove best in the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at the Louisville oval Nov. 24.
The Golden Rod, at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for 2-year-old fillies, is carded as the ninth of 12 races on a "Stars of Tomorrow II" card that features juvenile racing at Churchill, with an approximate post time of 4:35 p.m. EST. As a "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" prep season race, the stakes rewards the top four finishers with 10-4-2-1 points, respectively, to qualify for the 2013 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) field. The closing-weekend stakes race has drawn a field of nine.
"We were enticed by the $500,000 in the Delta Princess (on Nov. 17), but I felt like in the long run this was the best path," Calhoun said. "So we waited, and went for the less money and are going to run her out of her own stall. I think in the long run, it'll be beneficial for her looking forward to her maybe turning out to be an Oaks filly."
Four lengths back in the Pocahontas, her first time going longer than six furlongs for Iroquois Racing Club, the City Zip filly was previously unbeaten with a Sept. 2 maiden special weight score by 3 1/4 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs on the Monmouth Park dirt and an Oct. 6 cruise on the Polytrack at Keeneland by 3 3/4 lengths at six panels.
"I think until you try it, the (distance) is a question," Calhoun remarked. "We came out of (the Pocahontas) 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. We just got outrun."
The main rival for Gal About Town could be Blugrass Hall's Broken Spell, runner-up to Spring in the Air in the Oct. 5 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) at Keeneland. Following that run, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained daughter of Broken Vow finished sixth in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Another key contender is Cloudy Vow, who completed the Pocahontas trifecta 1 3/4 lengths back. Danalake also exits the Pocahontas, but was sixth. She has a minor stakes score at Delaware Park earlier in the season to her credit.
Seaneen Girl, runner-up by 1 1/2 lengths to Spring Venture in the Oct. 6 Mazarine Stakes (gr. III) at Woodbine last out, makes her sixth career start and first outside the Toronto oval in the Golden Rod.
Maiden winners Pow Wow Wow, Silver Strike, Street of Gold, and Liberated, all trying stakes company for the first time, complete the field
$150,000 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, approximate post 4:35 p.m. EST), 2YO Fillies, 1 1/16 miles
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Pow Wow Wow (KY), C.H. Borel, N P Zito
2. Danalake (KY), J. Bravo, T A Pletcher
3. Broken Spell (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., D W Lukas
4. Silver Strike (KY), B.J. Hernandez, Jr., D M Carroll
5. Cloudy Vow (KY), S. Bridgmohan, T E Hamm
6. Street of Gold (KY), C.J. Lanerie, P J McGee
7. Liberated (KY), J.K. Court, V H Oliver
8. Seaneen Girl (KY), M. Mena, B S Flint
9. Gal About Town (KY), J.L. Castanon, W B Calhoun
All carry 119 pounds.
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