Rose to Gold romped to a 13 1/2 length win in the $100,000 Brave Raj Stakes at Calder Race Course & Casino on Saturday, giving her runaway victories in two career starts and a possible ticket to bigger stakes races this fall.
In her debut at Calder on Aug. 25, the 2-year-old Rose to Gold won the one-mile Lindsay Frolic by 13 lengths.
In Saturday’s $100,000 Foolish Pleasure, for 2-year-old males, Itsmyluckyday took the lead coming out of the final turn and went on to beat the previously undefeated Sr. Quisqueyano by three lengths.
Both races were 1 mile and 70 yards on dirt.
On its Festival Preview day, Calder also had a pair of 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds.
Awesome Belle ran her winning streak to three, all in Calder stakes, with a 4 3/4-length victory over Jazz in the $75,000 Judy’s Red Shoes for fillies.
Mucho Mas Macho rallied from seventh place after three-quarters of a mile and beat the 4-5 favorite Empire Builder by a neck in the $75,000 Needles.
Calder officials expect many of the horses in Saturday’s stakes will be back on Oct. 13 for stakes on the annual Festival of the Sun card. But Rose to Gold and Itsmyluckyday are not eligible for the Oct. 13 final races in the Florida Stallion Stakes series. The sires of both horses are based in Kentucky.
“We’ll have to see what they have here and what there is out of town,” said Frank Perez, an assistant to Eddie Plesa Jr., who trains Itsmyluckyday.
Rose to Gold’s next race might be the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades Stakes (Grade 1) at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 5, said trainer Sal Santoro.
Rose to Gold went off at 5-1 in the Lindsay Frolic and won on a sloppy track. She was the 3-5 favorite in the Brave Raj, on a track listed as fast.
Again, Rose to Gold dominated her Calder competition.
Bama Rose led Rose to Gold by a half length after a half mile in 48.28 seconds.
Rose to Gold, ridden for the second time by Jesus Rios, took the lead midway around the far turn and began pulling away.
“There she goes again,” said Santoro who was watching near the winners circle. Caraquista finished second, followed by Nicki Starshine.
Rose to Gold won in 1:45.24 — the second fastest time in the past 10 runnings of the Brave Raj.
Itsmyluckyday came into the Foolish Pleasure off a win in the five-furlong Fasig-Tipton Dash at Calder on Aug. 25. In four starts, he had never raced beyond that distance.
“Because of the way he has trained, we were confident he could stretch out,” Perez said.
Itsmyluckyday is a son of Lawyer Ron, whose wins included the 1 1/8-mile Whitney Stakes at Saratoga in 2007.
Bettors made him the 7-2 second choice in the nine horse-field. Sr. Quisqueyano had won his three prior starts by 28 3/4 lengths and was the 1-2 favorite. Itsmyluckyday won in 1:45.45, under jockey Manoel Cruz.
Joshua’s Comprise, in ninth and last place after a half mile, rallied to finish third by a head over D’nied Permission.
Awesome Belle, the 2-1 favorite, led almost the entire way in winning the Judy’s Red Shoes in 1:44.46.
She used a similar front-running style in her two previous wins, one on dirt and one on turf. Fernando Jara rode her in those races and on Saturday.
“We will look at the schedule here, and can run her on turf or dirt,” said Stan Gold, who trains Awesome Feather.
Mucho Mas Macho’s win in the Needles was his first in a stakes, He was ridden by Juan Leyva and won in 1:44.29 for trainer Henry Collazo.