Baffert Seeks 'Victory' Strike in Golden Rod

Victory U.S.A., the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) third-place finisher, is scheduled to make her next start in the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29, trainer Bob Baffert said, before ending her juvenile season in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) on Dec. 21 at Hollywood Park.

Both races are 1 1/16-mile main track events for 2-year-old fillies that carry $200,000 purses.

Thomas F. Van Meter's Victory U.S.A. worked a half-mile in :50 3/5 at Santa Anita Thursday morning with regular exercise rider Dana Barnes in the irons, her first official move since the World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 25.

"She worked good," Baffert said. "She needed the work. She can make both (races). They're three weeks apart. I've got to get all the money I can while Halfbridled is out. I've got a feeling I'm going to be on the road a lot next spring. I haven't seen a filly like (Halfbridled) since Silverbulletday. Now I know how they all felt when I had Silverbulletday."

Kentucky-bred Victory U.S.A. is a daughter of Victory Gallop and the Cox's Ridge mare Fordyce. Overall she's won one of her four career starts, with a second and two thirds, for earnings of $269,400.

Baffert also said Class Above, who was a well-beaten sixth in the Breeders' Cup, came out of the race slightly sick but is doing well now.

"She had a ton of green mucus in there after the race," the trainer said.

Baffert said there are no immediate plans for a next start for the daughter of Quiet American.