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The Racing Dudes react to Hoosier Philly winning the 2022 Golden Road Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, a major early prep race for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks (G1). Watch the replay for the Racing Dudes’ INSTANT reactions, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
The promising 2-year-old filly Hoosier Philly stamped herself as a divisional leader and tantalizing prospect for the Longines Kentucky Oaks as she easily won Saturday’s 79th running of the $400,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) at Churchill Downs with overwhelming authority by five lengths.
Hoosier Philly, who ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.94 as the odds-on 2-5 betting choice in the field of eight 2-year-old fillies, collected the $242,470 first prize and 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, which offers points on a scale of 10-4-3-2-1 to the Top 5 finishers as a “Prep Season” race.
Edgar Morales rode the winner for trainer Tom Amoss and owners Gold Standard Racing Stable LLC.
“I’ve said multiple times, and I hope it doesn’t come across as arrogant, I’ve never seen any horse like her,” said Amoss, who trained the sensational Serengeti Empress that won the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks and banked more than $2.1 million between 2018-20. “I’ve been training since 1987 and she’s different than anything I’ve ever had come in my barn. The instructions to Edgar were pretty simple, he was on the best horse and ride her with confidence.
“Now, she’ll get a break by design and will bring her back as a 3-year-old,” Amoss. “She’s a filly but I have entertained the thought of putting her on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.”
Her final time was :01.31 faster than Instant Coffee’s victory in the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) for colts one race later.
Hoosier Philly was relaxed throughout the race and rated in fourth in the clear down the backstretch behind pacesetter T Max, who clicked off fractions of :24.29 and :47.79. Around the turn for home, a driving Pure Pauline engaged T Max for the lead, crossing six furlongs in 1:12.28, but Hoosier Philly was a menacing presence on the outside and she dragged Morales to the front without being asked and with her ears pricked.
“She’s unbelievable,” Morales said. “I had so much horse the entire race. I got behind horses a little bit going into the first turn but kept her outside and she was moving so easily. It’s so much fun to ride her and so easy, too. She knows exactly what to do and when to do it.”
Morales only tapped Hoosier Philly a few times on her right shoulder, one to switch her lead foot and the others to stay interested, as she drew away in a stunning performance.
Knockyoursocksoff was the “winner” of the separate race for second, prevailing by a neck over Pretty Mischievous.
Hoosier Philly paid $2.96, $2.58 and $2.10. Knockyoursocksoff, at odds of 24-1 under Julien Leparoux, paid $10.64 and $4.58. Pretty Mischievous, the 5-1 second betting choice, returned $3.20 to show with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.
Prior to the Golden Rod, Hoosier Philly drew away to comfortably win the $200,000 Rags to Riches by 7 ½ lengths on Oct. 30 after breaking her maiden Sept. 25 by 1 ¾ lengths. She is now perfect in three starts with earnings of $432,610.
“We were hopeful to get her started mid-summer but she had some 2-year-old growing things go on,” Amoss said. “So, we stopped on her and got her back started here Churchill and ran a distance that was definitely not her strong point. She went less than three-quarters of a mile that day, but she still was able to win impressively. We saw who the real Hoosier Philly was in her next start when she was able to stretch her legs and go one-mile in the Rags to Riches.”
Behind Pretty Mischievous it was Pure Pauline, Defining Purpose, T Max, American Rockette and Take Charge Briana. Black Forest and Mustang Lady were scratched.
By Into Mischief, Hoosier Philly is out of the Tapit mare Tapella. The gray or roan filly was bred in Kentucky by Candy Meadows LLC.
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