Ridden by Javier Castellano for owner E. Paul Robsham Stables and trainer Todd Pletcher, Golden Lad sat in third through moderate fractions set by Ecleto Red in the 1 1/8-mile race, before making his bid on the final turn. He surged past Ecleto Red, who had won his last two starts at Prairie Meadows, near the wire to win in 1:49.86 on a track rated fast.
Castellano hopped a plane to Iowa from New York and arrived in time to win the grade III Iowa Derby aboard Bent On Bourbon. He then won the Cornhusker in the next race.
"He's very competitive," said Castellano, who rode Golden Lad to a five-length win in the Mountainview Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in his previous start. "I've learned a lot about him. He has done phenomenal in his last two starts."
Golden Lad, a 5-year-old horse by Medaglia d'Oro out of the Seeking the Gold mare Broadway Gold, was bred in Kentucky by Robsham Stables. He now has eight wins in 15 starts.