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Churchill Downs Preview & FREE Picks | Golden Rod Stakes 2023: Thorpedo Anna Returns Quick
Thorpedo Anna (Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs Preview & FREE Picks | Golden Rod Stakes 2023: Thorpedo Anna Returns Quick

Dr. Miranda previews & gives her FREE picks for the 2023 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) from Churchill Downs, a prep race for the 2024 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Can Thorpedo Anna remain undefeated as she returns quickly from just 2 weeks’ rest? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

Brookdale Racing and Mark Edwards’ undefeated 2-year-old filly Thorpedo Anna will return on just two weeks rest and face seven rival fillies in pursuit of Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points in Saturday’s 80th running of the $400,000 Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod will award the top five finishers points on a 10-5-3-2-1 scale toward a spot in the starting gate for the 2024 Kentucky Oaks, set for May 3 at the Louisville oval.

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Trained by Kenny McPeek, Thorpedo Anna dominated the first two races of her young career. In her maiden-breaking performance at Keeneland, she rallied from five lengths off the early pace and stormed home to an 8½-length win.

Two weeks later, Thorpedo Anna returned in a first-level allowance contest at Churchill Downs where she cruised to a nine-length win and earned a stout 90 Brisnet Speed Rating.

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will retain the mount for the Golden Rod and the duo will break from post No. 8.

Another top prospect entered in the Golden Rod is fellow undefeated filly West Sunset, who recently upset the Rags to Riches Stakes at odds of 7-1.

Trained by Brad Cox and owned by Gary and Mary West, West Sunset debuted during the September Meet at Churchill Downs, where she won at first asking by a neck in a maiden special weight.

She returned six weeks later in the Rags to Riches and defeated four rivals by 6¾ lengths over the sloppy surface.

Jockey Flavien Prat will return to ride West Sunset in the Golden Rod from post 7.

The Golden Rod field, from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

  1. Dozen Diamonds (Rafael Bejarano, Vicki Oliver)
  2. Intricate (Tyler Gaffalione, Brendan Walsh)
  3. Purloin (Jose Ortiz, Cherie DeVaux)
  4. Here’s the Spider (John McKee, Ed Fernandez)
  5. Central Avenue (Javier Castellano, Mike Stidham)
  6. Gin Gin (Florent Geroux, Cox)
  7. West Sunset (Prat, Cox)
  8. Thorpedo Anna (Hernandez, McPeek)

The Golden Rod is one of four stakes on the Stars of Tomorrow II program that will feature all 2-year-old races and was carded as Race 10 at 5:27 p.m. (ET). The race is the co-featured event along with the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). The other two stakes on the program are the $225,000 Ed Brown and $225,000 Fern Creek.