Saturday's $200,000-added Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs will pit father against son as veteran trainer Bernie Flint will saddle Mike Rutherford's Cohiba Miss in a bid to upset Richard, Elaine, and Bert Klein's Change Up, trained by his son, Steve.
Ten 2-year-old fillies were entered in the 1 1/16-mile race that is the co-feature with the $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II). The 12-race program, wraps up the track's 21-day fall meet.
Change Up, a homebred daughter of Distorted Humor , has won three of five starts for trainer Steve Flint. The most recent victory was an emphatic two-length score in the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. III), her second win in three races at Churchill Downs. She is the 8-5 favorite.
"You never want to get overconfident going into the race, because they're all nice fillies," said Steve Flint. "But she's trained out of her skin. Somebody's going to have to run the race of their life to beat her."
Change Up breaks from post five and will be ridden for the first time by John Velazquez.
Cohiba Miss comes off a sharp victory over Polytrack in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park for the elder Flint, who won Golden Rod in 2004 with Runway Model. Willie Martinez is set to ride the daughter of Cat Thief, who has a 3-1-1 record in eight races and is the 4-1 third choice.
Bentley Smith's homebred Lady Joanne (pronounced JOAN-ee) is the second choice in the Golden Rod morning line off a late-running third place finish in the Pocahontas. Carl Nafzger, who won back-to-back runnings of the Golden Rod with Belterra (2001) and My Boston Gal (2002), trains the daughter of Orientate.
High Heels was an impressive maiden winner in her most recent start.
$200,000-added Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II), 2-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse (weight), Jockey, ML odds
1. High Heels (119), Joe Johnson, 10/1
2. Stellas New Groove (119), Larry Melancon, 15/1
3. Lady Joanne (119), John McKee, 7/2
4. Wellofaprize (119), Miguel Mena, 20/1
5. Change Up (119), John Velazquez, 8/5
6. Pro Pink (119), Robby Albarado, 12/1
7. Time's Mistress (119), Brice Blanc, 12/1
8. Littlebitabling (119), Shaun Bridgmohan, 20/1
9. Cohiba Miss (119), Willie Martinez, 4/1
10. Lady Corredor (119), Julien Leparoux, 20/1