Boy, whoever let Rose to Gold go for $1,400 must be feeling robbed right about now. The filly was purchased for that measly sum in the Fasig Tipton sale in February of 2011 by Kathleen Amaya, Alex Centofanti, and Raffaele Centofanti. They placed her in the Ocala Breeders’ Sale later that year but decided to keep the filly after she didn’t meet her reserve price. You can rest assured that they are now happy she didn’t.
Rose to Gold hit the track running back in August, quickly reeling off back-to-back stakes wins at Calder in which she romped home much the best by a margin of at least 13 lengths each time. A disappointing effort in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes on Keeneland’s all weather track did not deter trainer Sal Santoro. Instead, he shipped the filly out to Delta Downs where she remained undefeated on the dirt by taking the G3 Delta Downs Princess Stakes and earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Oaks in the process.
A second place finish in the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn gave the Friends Lake filly four more Kentucky Oaks points and even more reason to continue on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. With a match-up with the highly regarded Flashy Gray in the Honeybee looming, Rose to Gold received a jockey change for the third time in her career, this time getting Mr. Derby himself, Calvin Borel. Having Borel in the irons proved to be magic. A quick break in the Honeybee put Rose to Gold on the lead, a place she was in no danger of losing after easily turning away Flashy Gray’s challenge.
Forecasts of rain for the G3 Fantasy Stakes did little to dampen the high spirits in Camp Rose to Gold. The filly broke her maiden on a sloppy track at Calder and today proved that win in the mud was no fluke. With Borel back aboard, Rose to Gold again went straight to the lead. She easily repelled Manuka Honey turning for home and splashed home an easy winner by 4 ½ lengths.
With the winner’s share of the Fantasy purse, Rose to Gold has pushed her career earnings up to $717,889, quite an impressive amount for a $1,400 purchase. Talk about a bargain! Despite her record, Rose to Gold will likely be at fair odds come May. With the likes of Dreaming of Julia, Live Lively, Unlimited Budget, Midnight Lucky, Beholder, Emollient, and Close Hatches all being pointed toward the Oaks, Rose to Gold is not likely to take a whole heap of money at the windows.
When originally asked what odds could be expected on the filly come May, I answered about 7-1. But further thinking made me realize that I was perhaps overestimating the hunch bet and Borel angles. Don’t get me wrong. Many people will likely bet Rose to Gold based on her feel good story or the fact that she will have Borel back in the irons at Churchill Downs, but just as many will look at her past performances and pass based on her slow final times or lack of competition. As for me, I love a feel good story, I wouldn’t bet against Borel at Churchill Downs, and I just flat out love this chestnut filly.