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Zipse At The Track

Rose to Gold is back where it all began

Rose to Gold 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire


Just over seven months ago, Rose to Gold was one of several accomplished young fillies that ascended on Louisville for a loaded edition of the Kentucky Oaks. The preeminent race on the American racing schedule for three-year-old fillies did not go well for the chestnut daughter of Friends Lake. She bumped horses coming out of the Churchill Downs starting gate, and never really got into the grade 1 affair. To literally add injury to insult, the next morning her right front ankle was swollen and a bone chip was found. Other bone chips were also discovered in the X-rays, and surgery ensued. Fortunately, for her fans that have been waiting for her return to the track, the wait is almost over. On Saturday, Rose to Gold is set to make her first race back in the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap on the Calder turf.

To say that the Sal Santoro trained filly has a good history at the South Florida oval may be understating things a little. In a sensational beginning to her career, Rose to Gold crashed a stakes race last August in her career debut, and more than lived up to her connections faith in her, with an overpowering 13-length romp in the one mile Lindsay Frolic Stakes. Her next start, a month later, also came at Calder, and resulted in more of the same, as she dominated the Brave Raj Stakes to the tune of 13 ½ length runaway.

It wasn’t always easy leaving her Calder base, as she suffered a couple of losses, but Rose to Gold continued to flash her class with graded stakes wins in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Princess in November, and the Grade 3 Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park in March. By the time Oaklawn’s top race for three-year-old fillies, The Fantasy, rolled around in April, Rose to Gold was already a four-time stakes winner. She was bet down to heavy favoritism of 7-10 and ran like it. Running off to an easy 4 ½ length score in the Fantasy, Rose to Gold had her connections feeling good about her prospects for the Kentucky Oaks, including winning rider, Calvin Borel.

In the seven months since her disappointing run in the Kentucky Oaks, the Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti owned filly enjoyed her rehabilitation time at WinStar Farm, with her own pony to keep her company, and a strengthening program that included work on an underwater treadmill. Returning to training at Calder in July, she has a series of solid works under her belt, and according to Santoro, is training just as she did prior to the surgery.

“She has always been very, very aggressive in the mornings, and she is not training any different than she did prior to getting hurt,” said Santoro. “It’s right exactly where I want her to be. She worked a mile for us in 1:41 under a hold, but the more important thing was the way she galloped out towards the three-eighths (pole). We were pleased with the work this morning.”

Despite being back at the friendly confines of her home base, Rose to Gold will find more to overcome than just the seven-month layoff in the My Charmer.  At 1 1/8 miles on the turf, Saturday’s race, for three-year-olds and up, represents Rose to Gold’s first career attempt on the grass. Her trainer explained why he chose the turf race for Rose to Gold’s return to the races.

“It is her home track, she is in familiar surroundings She doesn’t get rattled at all, but I just figured (the turf) would be better for her on her first race back,” said Santoro. “I have been dying to try this horse on the grass, but when we were chasing the points for the Oaks, everything had to be to get the points. That is why we went to Arkansas and all of that. Now we are not under those restraints anymore so we will see how she does.”

While the return of one of the best sophomore fillies in the land in the first half of 2013 is certainly good news, you better enjoy her racing while you can. Plans for Rose to Gold after the My Charmer include only a “light” schedule for 2014 before the talented filly embarks on her second career. She is scheduled to head to her owner’s farm in Citra, Florida next spring for broodmare duty. 


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Older Comments about Rose to Gold is back where it all began...

Finally! My girl gets back to the races! I fell in love with Rose To Gold at Keeneland in the 2012 season. Even though she didn't run well, she was beautiful! I've been following her ever since. I'm glad she's back, but sad that she will be retired soon.
I expect Rose to Gold to pick up right where she left off, but I'm disappointed that they're packing her off to the breeding shed so soon. She has so much potential.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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