April 15, 2021

Restless Rider the one to beat in Golden Rod

Restless Rider and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. romp home in the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday, June 30, 2018 (c) Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

Second best to Jaywalk three weeks ago in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Restless Rider will look to end her Churchill Downs meet on a winning note Saturday in the $200,000 Golden Rod (G2) at 1 1/16 miles.

A Road to the Kentucky Oaks series prep, with qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 awarded to the top four finishers, the Golden Rod is one of 12 races on the Stars of Tomorrow II card.

Trained by Kenny McPeek, Restless Rider is easily the most accomplished of the eight fillies in the Golden Rod, and thus figures to be an overwhelming favorite. Prior to the Breeders’ Cup, the gray daughter of Distorted Humor overcame trouble to win the $100,000 Debutante in a romp following a debut win over this track in June.

Restless Rider later rebounded from a second in the Spinaway (G1) by winning the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland by 2 1/2 lengths over Reflect, but was more than five lengths adrift of Jaywalk earlier this month.

Reflect also returns from the Breeders’ Cup, where she was eased late and beat just one of her nine rivals to the wire. The Keith Desormeaux trainee won at first asking in June at Santa Anita, but has not won since. She also finished behind Restless Rider when sixth in the Spinaway.

Break Curfew, a 3 3/4-length debut winner going six furlongs at Belmont Park for Chad Brown, figures to attract play. Also entering off a first-out score is Gold Credit, who prevailed over Keeneland’s Beard Course in mid-October for trainer Ignacio Correas.

Allowance winners Champagne Anyone and Princess Causeway, nine-length maiden winner Liora, and $103,000 Rags to Riches third-place finisher High Regard complete the field.