Essential Quality half-sister faces tough rival in Golden Rod

Essential Quality half-sister faces tough rival in Golden Rod
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Godolphin’s 2-year-old filly Famed, the half-sister to champion colt Essential Quality, will face off against Sandstone, Susan Moulton’s dominant 10 3/4-length winner of the $200,000 Rags to Riches in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Golden Rod, a race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod will award the Top 4 fillies points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward the May 6 Kentucky Oaks. The Golden Rod, which goes as Race 10 at 5:27 p.m. EST, is one of four stakes events on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program from Churchill Downs. The others are the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), $200,000 Lively Shively and $200,000 Fern Creek. First post is 1 p.m. EST.

Trained by Brad Cox, Famed has been well-backed in both of her career starts. She broke her maiden last out at Keeneland by 7 3/4 lengths at odds of 2-5. In her debut, the Uncle Mo filly finished second as the 4-5 favorite against 45-1 long shot Sweet Dani Girl. Famed will be ridden by Florent Geroux from the rail.

The Kenny McPeek-trained Sandstone has won her last two races by a combined 19 3/4 lengths under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. The filly by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense debuted at 5 1/2 furlongs in late May and finished fifth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths to stablemate and eventual Debutante Stakes winner Behave Virginia. In her second start, at one mile, Sandstone dusted her rivals at odds of 5-1. Her first start around two turns was the Rags to Riches, the local prep to the Golden Rod, where she was the slight 5-2 upset winner over Yuugiri. Hernandez again will have the call from post No. 4.

2021 Golden Rod (G2)

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