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Vexed Deemed Ready for Golden Rod

Only 13 horses had serious training moves at Churchill Downs on a wintry Monday, but one was Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilscheider’s Vexed, a contender for Saturday’s $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) for 2-year-old fillies.

The homebred daughter of Arch worked an easy five furlongs under jockey Greta Kuntzweiler in :49.40 over a fast track.  Despite that rating, sub-freezing temperatures have kept Churchill Downs track crews from adding water to the surface over the past two days, so the surface was drier than usual, which contributed to the small total of works.

Given the recent early blast of winter weather that has hit the Louisville area, trainer Al Stall Jr. was happy to get his filly’s final work in.

“We’re in good shape,” Stall said by telephone from New Orleans. “We’ve kept our schedule and she seems to be fine.”

Stall had some weather concerns, but elected to send Vexed to the track and the move went well.

“We talked about the track this morning before the work,” Stall said. “(Retired jockey) Larry Melancon gallops for me and he thought it was okay. 

“You’ve got to play that hand that’s dealt you. She rode (under tack) in the barn yesterday for an hour yesterday when the track was closed. But we felt it was okay to do something with her today.”

Vexed was impressive in a maiden victory in September at Churchill Downs, but was runner-up to Clever Beauty in her stakes debut in the $60,000-added Rags to Riches overnight stakes at Churchill Downs on Oct. 27. That one-mile race came after a pair of runs at seven furlongs, and the 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod will be the filly’s first run at a two-turn distance. 

The known probable starters the 70th running of the Golden Rod (with trainers) include: Bird Maker (Ian Wilkes), Canaryinacoalmine (Steve Margolis), Madly Truly (Mark Casse), Naïve Enough (Ignacio Correas IV), Playful Love (Wilkes), Stonetastic (Kelly Breen), Streethomealabama (Kenny McPeek) and Vexed (Al Stall Jr.). Possible: Daddy’s Memory (Cecil Borel), Room Service (Wayne Catalano) and Spangled Banner (Eoin Harty).


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