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Intricate won the 2023 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, a prep race for the 2024 Kentucky Oaks (G1). The Brendan Walsh trainee crushed her competition by over 5 lengths.
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Intricate patiently waited for running room at the top of the stretch and when she did at the three-sixteenths pole, she exploded home to comfortably win Saturday’s 80th running of the $399,498 Golden Rod (Grade II) at Churchill Downs by 5 ¼ lengths over odds-on 4-5 favorite Thorpedo Anna.
Intricate, who ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:45.01 in a field of seven 2-year-old fillies, collected the $240,455 first prize and 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, which offers points on a scale of 10-5-3-2-1 to the top five finishers as a “Prep Season” race.
Tyler Gaffalione rode the winner for trainer Brendan Walsh and owners Bradley Thoroughbreds, Laura Leigh Stable, Scott Estes and Cambron Equine LLC.
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West Sunset, the winner of last month’s Rags to Riches (Listed), dictated the early pace of :23.30, :47.31 and 1:12.48 as Intricate relaxed along the rail about 3 ½ lengths behind in third down the backstretch.
West Sunset, longshot Dozen Diamonds and Thorpedo Anna left the final turn vying for the lead, but it was a pinned Intricate who found room between the tiring leader and 68-1 outsider.
Once clear, Intricate opened up and drew clear of the field for easy victory.
“She ran great today,” Gaffalione said. “She’s figuring things out and getting better with each start. I think the longer distance will definitely help her.”
Intricate paid $14.66, $4.90 and $3.54. Thorpedo Anna, under Brian Hernandez Jr., paid $3.20 and $2.72. Central Avenue, at odds of 7-1, rallied for third and returned $3.86 to show with Javier Castellano up.
Prior to the Golden Rod, Intricate broke her maiden in her second start while stretching out from a fifth in a debut sprint to a 3 ½-length score at Keeneland around 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 13. She now boasts a record of two wins in three starts with earnings of $302,180.
“She’s a very easy filly to train and does it all by herself,” said Walsh, who used a third-place finish in last year’s Golden Rod to win this year’s Longines Kentucky Oaks with Pretty Mischievous. “She’s just been starting to come around and really put things together today. We’ve always thought she’s a true two-turn filly. Last year this race worked out well for the development of Pretty Mischievous. We’ll see where we end up down the road with her but I’m sure we’ll entertain the Fair Grounds races like we did last year.”
Dozen Diamonds finished fourth and was followed by Gin Gin, Purloin, Here’s the Spider and West Sunset.
By Gun Runner, Intricate is out of the Distorted Humor mare Complex Analysis. The chestnut filly was bred in Kentucky by LBD Stable LLC.
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