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Borel Gets Mount on Rose to Gold

Jockey Calvin Borel, sitting on the brink of the 5,000-win milestone, will be riding Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Fantasy Stakes (G3) prospect Rose to Gold when she races next in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn March 9.

Owned by Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti, Rose to Gold is coming off a runner-up performance in the Martha Washington Stakes Feb. 9 in what was her first start of the year and her first race since winning the Delta Princess Stakes (G3) in December. Trainer Sal Santoro confirmed Wednesday morning Borel would pick up the mount, replacing three South Florida-based jockeys who had been aboard in her previous five starts.

“We wanted to get a jockey that was familiar with the local scene and with the national scene,” said Santoro. “Our goal is to keep going from the Honeybee to the Fantasy and hopefully that gets us to Churchill Downs. Borel is the jockey to have if your goal is to win big races in these places.”

Borel is best known for his three Kentucky Derby (G1) wins in four years from 2007-2010 and was the regular jockey on 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, riding her to wins in the Fantasy, Kentucky Oaks and the Preakness Stakes (G1) that spring. That year he became the most recent of seven jockeys to win the Oaks and the Derby in the same year, following Rachel Alexandra’s win the next day with a 50-1 upset on Mine That Bird.

Santoro said Rose to Gold, a daughter of Friends Lake, will likely use “two-minute licks” to stay on edge for the Honeybee, where she is expected to get a rematch with Martha Washington winner Sister Ginger.

“She doesn’t need to do much,” said Santoro. “She definitely wants to be out there on the track, but she got a lot out of her race and we need to keep our eye on the whole series. The distances get longer here too, and that’s part of our thinking in how we train her over the next few months.”

Borel broke his wrist two days before the Oaklawn meet opened last month. He returned to riding Saturday and has missed with his five mounts so far in his quest to become the 25th jockey to win 5,000 races. If and when the Louisiana native gets that win, commemorative trading cards will be given out to all fans in attendance. He has one mount scheduled for Thursday.



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