LOUISVILLE, KY – OXO Equine’s Travel Column overcame a troubled beginning to take Saturday’s $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Travel Column broke from post 5 under Florent Geroux as the 9/2 second choice but was quickly crowded back to the rear early.
Farsighted set the pace, posting opening fractions of :23.77 and :48.21 before giving way to the 3/5 favorite Simply Ravishing.
Racing outside of foes as she began circling her rivals, Travel Column produced a late kick to get by in deep stretch before winning by a length.
The Brad Cox trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route in 1:43.98.
“We broke a step slow and I tried to get her to relax as much as I could while saving as much ground as possible,” Geroux said. “I got sort of a pocket trip around the far turn, and when Simply Ravishing was flattening out, I just decided to go around everyone. She had a ton of energy left and was able to get up to win.”
Clairiere, the rival who bumped into Travel Column at the start and was partially responsible for pushing the winner back, rallied to take second by 2 1/2 lengths over Coach, the winner’s stablemate.
Simply Ravishing, Princess Theorem, Lady Lilly, Lady Traveler, and Farsighted completed the order of finish. No Mo’ Spending was scratched from the race restricted to 2-year-old fillies.
The Golden Rod is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Travel Column earned 10 points for the win, with Clairiere receiving 4 for second, Coach 2 for third, and Simply Ravishing 1 for fourth.
Travel Column’s win was a rebound effort after finishing third in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) behind Simply Ravishing and came over the same surface where she broke her maiden on debut (albeit at 6 furlongs). The Frosted filly, purchased for $850,000 as a yearling, has now earned $209,184.
“She overcame a lot of adversity today,” Cox said. “This was the game plan all along, to run in this race and give her the time she needs after the Alcibiades. She was very impressive, breaking that slow and being stopped several times. Mentally, that showed her maturity, but I still think she is learning. I thought Coach ran a really good race to get third as well.”
Travel Column returned $11.80 to win, $6.20 to place, and $4 to show. Clairiere brought back $5.60 to place and $3.40 to show, while Coach paid $5.40 to show.