Road To Victory Finds Her Way In Golden Rod Stakes

Gary Barber and John Oxley’s Road to Victory bested the favored Monomoy Girl at odds of 7-1 in Saturday’s Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs, grinding out a win by about a head at the wire. The 2-year-old daughter of Quality Road, ridden by Julien Leparoux for trainer Mark Casse, dogged the favorite throughout and ran her down in the stretch to complete 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:43.36.

“You don’t know how they’ll take to the dirt until they run the race,” said Norm Casse, assistant to his father Mark. “Dad sent her down here to see if she was a quality dirt horse and she’s had no bad days since we’ve had her. She prepared so well for this race. It’s extra rewarding to win 2-year-old stakes races because it’s a testament to our program. I take a lot of pride winning on these types of races at our home track.”

Monomoy Girl was out of the gate quickly, beating Road to Victory to the first turn and angling over to the rail. Leparoux didn’t panic, gathering up his filly and taking her just outside the leader to sit second down the backstretch. Those two clocked fractions of :23.81 and :46.57 while drawing away from the rest of the field, maintaining a half-length’s distance from one another.

Rounding the far turn, Road to Victory edged up on Monomoy Girl, briefly taking the lead at the top of the stretch. Monomoy Girl responded willingly, jumping into the bridle and drawing away again by nearly 1 1/2 lengths, but she began to race a bit greenly afterward, wandering back and forth across the track slightly and losing momentum. Leparoux just kept grinding aboard Road to Victory, and the pair passed Monomoy Girl just in time for the win. Road to Victory was a head in front of Monomoy Girl at the wire, while Cash Out was a distant third. Dessert Honeys finished fourth.

“We sat in the right spot throughout the race,” Leparoux said. “I didn’t want the leader to get too far away from us. She tried really hard and came back at the end. We felt she didn’t need the lead but relaxed in second. We knew the favorite would be on the lead and we just ran her down.”

Bred in Kentucky by George Bolton & David DiPietro, Road to Victory was a $500,000 2-year-old at the OBS April sale. She has now won both of her career starts for earnings of just under $150,000.

The post Road To Victory Finds Her Way In Golden Rod Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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