LOUISVILLE, KY – After battling the length of the stretch, Finite denied Motu‘s bid en route to winning Saturday’s $300,000 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Breaking cleanly along the rail as the 4/5 favorite under Ricardo Santana, Jr., Finite allowed Bean – intent on setting the pace – to lead heading into the clubhouse turn. Running inside of Lady Glamour, Finite watched as Bean posted opening fractions of :23.93 and :48.53.
Tipping out to run three-wide in the clear while still on the backstretch, Finite gradually ranged alongside Lady Glamour, who in turn was pulling up to meet Bean on the front end.
As the field reached the 1/4 pole, Santana, Jr., peeked back to see Motu coming with a run to the outside and shook Finite’s reigns. The Steve Asmussen trainee dug in and withstood Motu’s extended bid before pulling ahead late to win by 3/4 of a length. Finite completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the sloppy (sealed) main track in a final time of 1:45.99.
“She’s a super nice filly,” said Santana, Jr. “The credit goes to Steve and his team because they have been working hard with this filly to get her to relax in the morning. She settled very nicely behind horses and was not going to let anyone get by her today.”
No match for the top pair, Lady Glamour was 6 1/2 lengths back in third. She Can’t Sing necked out Turtle Trax for fourth, while strung out behind them came His Glory, a spent Bean, and Ivyetsu, who never seemed to settle the duration of the race.
The Golden Rod is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Finite earned 10 points for the win, with Motu receiving 4 for second, Lady Glamour 2 for third, and She Can’t Sing 1 for fourth.
Finite’s win was her third straight and improved her record to 5-3-2-0 with $368,349 earned. The 2-year-old daughter of Munnings is co-owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds (who also bred her), Thomas Reiman, William Dickson, and Deborah Easter.
“It was pretty cool that before the Golden Rod, the replay of Untapable’s Kentucky Oaks win was playing on the big board,” said Asmussen, who saddled Untapable to wins in the 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff. “Hopefully, that is a sign of things to come.”
Finite returned $3.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Motu brought back $8.20 to place and $5.20 to show, while Lady Glamour paid $6.20 to show.