Farrell (Malibu Moon) wins the Golden Rod at Churchill Downs on 11.26.2016. Channing Hill up, Wayne Catalano trainer, Coffeepot Stables owners.
Bob Cummings and Annette Bacola’s homebred juvenile filly Farrell earned her first 10 points on the road to the Kentucky Oaks on Saturday, producing a dominating performance under Channing Hill to win the G2 Golden Rod Stakes by about five lengths. The daughter of Malibu Moon covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.26 over Churchill Downs’ fast main track for trainer Wayne Catalano.
“It’s an easy ride when you’re on much the best and have everything your way and obviously the horse got squeezed a little bit going into the first turn, but she had everything else her own way and she was relaxed,” said Hill. “(Trainer) Wayne (Catalano) had her on point and ready to roll. The biggest thing was that she settled into the turn and on the backside and from there, it was going to be tough to catch her. She’s got a lot of quality to her. She’s going to be tough wherever she goes this winter.”
Farrell jumped well from the 11-post, allowing Hill to guide her over to the inside fence, saving ground around the first turn as she drew out to one-length lead. She was chased by the threesome of Gris Gris, Funny Holiday and Lovely Bernadette through a first quarter in :23.89. The favored Daddys Lil Darling was last of all in the 12-horse field in the early going. Farrell continued to move easily all alone on the front end down the backstretch, clocking the half-mile in :48.33 while 1 1/2 lengths in front of Lovely Bernadette. Daddys Lil Darling began her rally, weaving between horses in mid-pack tracking the movements of Ever So Clever.
Turning for home, Farrell was already making her run before Hill even asked, floating out to a three-length lead all on her own. Daddys Lil Darling had to angle out at the head of the lane to find clear running room, and made up a lot of ground to get to second. Farrell, however, was long gone, drawing her winning margin out to five lengths on the wire. Daddys Lil Darling nosed out Ever So Clever for second, with Gris Gris checking in fourth.
“She trained very, very well for the last couple of weeks and she had a race over the track and had run very well and we wanted our best performance today,” Catalano said. “She’s run some big races but her best one was waiting for today and she showed up with it. We’ll sit down with the owners and get there (Longines Kentucky Oaks) in the best way that we know how. The Rags to Riches was the stepping stone to here and she ran well, but we really, really loved her going into today’s race. She trained great, got the race over the track. Everything was beautiful. She’ll probably go to Fair Grounds for the winter. I’ll see what’s the best route to go. I’ll map it out with owners and talk to those guys. We’ll sit down and make a plan and see what the best way to get to that race is.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Farrell is out of the graded stakes-placed Rebridled Dreams, making her a half-sister to G1 Blue Grass Stakes winner Carpe Diem. The filly broke her maiden in her second start at Churchill Downs, then finished third in the listed Rags to Riches Stakes on opening day of the fall meet. The Golden Rod is her first graded stakes victory, improving her career record to two wins from four starts, with earnings of over $ 150,000.
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