Jockey Calvin Borel had nothing but praise for Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Rose to Gold after her four-furlong work at Churchill Downs April 26. The 3-year-old Friends Lake filly was the lone Oaks worker on the Thursday morning.
Second-fastest of 51 at the distance on the day, Rose to Gold went in :47 4/5 with Churchill clockers catching splits of :24 and :35 3/5. She galloped out under Borel in 1:00 and 1:13 1/5.
Borel rode Rose to Gold to back-to-back victories in the April 10 Fantasy Stakes (gr. III) and March 9 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park, both wins by daylight for trainer Sal Santoro and owners Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti.
"She worked awesome, better than last week and that's hard to believe, but she did," said Borel, who was also aboard for the chestnut filly's half-mile move in :48 1/5 over the Louisville oval April 20. "She did everything right, she put on a little weight, she's just getting better and better, she's happy, everything's good."
Rose to Gold, a $1,400 yearling purchase, ranks second on the list of runners to make the Oaks field with 164 points and earnings of $717,889. In addition to her graded stakes victories as a sophomore, she also won the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) as a juvenile.
"It's a very good field this year," Borel said of the Oaks. "I think it's as good as the Derby. But she is doing so great. I can't believe I'm saying she's doing better than Oaklawn, because she ran two bang-up races out there, but I believe she is. She's a very nice filly. Don't underestimate her."