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Hoosier Philly romps in Golden Rod; Instant Coffee takes KJC

Stakes recaps by the Churchill Downs publicity team (Coady Photo of Hoosier Philly winning Golden Rod)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022) – The promising 2-year-old filly Hoosier Philly stamped herself as a divisional leader and tantalizing prospect for the Longines Kentucky Oaks as she easily won Saturday’s 79th running of the $400,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) at Churchill Downs with overwhelming authority by five lengths. 

Hoosier Philly, who ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.94 as the odds-on 2-5 betting choice in the field of eight 2-year-old fillies, collected the $242,470 first prize and 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, which offers points on a scale of 10-4-3-2-1 to the Top 5 finishers as a “Prep Season” race. 

Edgar Morales rode the winner for trainer Tom Amoss and owners Gold Standard Racing Stable LLC

“I’ve said multiple times, and I hope it doesn’t come across as arrogant, I’ve never seen any horse like her,” said Amoss, who trained the sensational Serengeti Empress that won the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks and banked more than $2.1 million between 2018-20. “I’ve been training since 1987 and she’s different than anything I’ve ever had come in my barn. The instructions to Edgar were pretty simple, he was on the best horse and ride her with confidence.

“Now, she’ll get a break by design and will bring her back as a 3-year-old,” Amoss. “She’s a filly but I have entertained the thought of putting her on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.”

Her final time was :01.31 faster than Instant Coffee’s victory in the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) for colts one race later.

Hoosier Philly was relaxed throughout the race and rated in fourth in the clear down the backstretch behind pacesetter T Max, who clicked off fractions of :24.29 and :47.79. Around the turn for home, a driving Pure Pauline engaged T Max for the lead, crossing six furlongs in 1:12.28, but Hoosier Philly was a menacing presence on the outside and she dragged Morales to the front without being asked and with her ears pricked.

“She’s unbelievable,” Morales said. “I had so much horse the entire race. I got behind horses a little bit going into the first turn but kept her outside and she was moving so easily. It’s so much fun to ride her and so easy, too. She knows exactly what to do and when to do it.”

Morales only tapped Hoosier Philly a few times on her right shoulder, one to switch her lead foot and the others to stay interested, as she drew away in a stunning performance. 

Knockyoursocksoff was the “winner” of the separate race for second, prevailing by a neck over Pretty Mischievous

Hoosier Philly paid $2.96, $2.58 and $2.10. Knockyoursocksoff, at odds of 24-1 underJulien Leparoux, paid $10.64 and $4.58. Pretty Mischievous, the 5-1 second betting choice, returned $3.20 to show with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.

Prior to the Golden Rod, Hoosier Philly drew away to comfortably win the $200,000 Rags to Riches by 7 ½ lengths on Oct. 30 after breaking her maiden Sept. 25 by 1 ¾ lengths. She is now perfect in three starts with earnings of $432,610.

“We were hopeful to get her started mid-summer but she had some 2-year-old growing things go on,” Amoss said. “So, we stopped on her and got her back started here Churchill and ran a distance that was definitely not her strong point. She went less than three-quarters of a mile that day, but she still was able to win impressively. We saw who the real Hoosier Philly was in her next start when she was able to stretch her legs and go one-mile in the Rags to Riches.”

Behind Pretty Mischievous it was Pure Pauline, Defining Purpose, T Max, American Rockette and Take Charge Briana. Black Forest and Mustang Lady were scratched.

By Into Mischief, Hoosier Philly is out of the Tapit mare Tapella. The gray or roan filly was bred in Kentucky by Candy Meadows LLC.  

Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday at 1 p.m. ET with a 12-race card for closing day of the Fall Meet. There will be a mandatory payout in the 20-cent Derby City 6 (Races 7-12), which features a carryover of $23,662. The featured 11th race is the 17th running of the $300,000 Commonwealth Turf (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on grass.



LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022) – Instant Coffee rallied wide into a slow pace and surged to the front inside the final sixteenth of a mile to win Saturday’s 96th running of the $399,625 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) at Churchill Downs by 1 ¼ lengths over Curly Jack and give jockey Luis Saez his sixth victory on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program for 2-year-olds.

Instant Coffee, owned by Al Gold’s Gold Square LLC and trained by Brad Cox, ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:45.25, earned $238,440 and collected 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve” series, which offered points on a scale of 10-4-3-2-1 to the Top 5 finishers as a “Prep Season” race. 

Instant Coffee winning the Kentucky Jockey Club under Luis Saez/Coady Photography

“This is one of the biggest reasons why we do this – to be on the Road to the Kentucky Derby,” Cox said. “We’re extremely proud of this colt to win like that in just his third start. He really does whatever you ask of him in the morning. It was a pretty slow pace but Luis kept after him and he was able to keep grinding out the win.”

          Instant Coffee was rated wide in seventh down the backstretch about four lengths back as Gigante led the field of nine 2-year-olds colts through dawdling fractions of :24.76, :50 and 1:15.02. Cyclone Mischief briefly poked his head in front leaving the final turn as Instant Coffee came under a drive and moved into fifth as the field began to bunch. Instant Coffee, who raced four-to-five paths wide throughout, proved to be best in the stretch as eight of the nine entrants were in contention down the lane.  

“He broke a little bit slow today so we got behind the pace,” Saez said. “I was a little worried because they weren’t really going fast at all up front and I was pretty wide. I could tell around the far turn my horse was trying very hard and I was very confident in him. We were able to make a big run into the lane and he kept finding more. He’s a young horse who’s just getting started and figuring things out.”

Instant Coffee paid $5.08, $2.98 and $2.40 as the 3-2 favorite. Curly Jack, under Edgar Morales, paid $3.60 and $2.46 as the 5-2 second betting choice. Hayes Strike was another head back in third and returned $5.22 to show at odds of 22-1 with Rafael Bejarano aboard.

It was a nose back to Red Route One in fourth and another nose back to Denington in fifth. They were followed by Gignate, Cyclone Mischief, Freedom Trail and a distanced Western Ghent

Overall, Instant Coffee has won three of his three starts with earnings of $322,815. His lone blemish was a fourth place finish in the $600,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland in his previous start.

Instant Coffee, a son of Bolt d’Oro out of the Uncle Mo mare Follow No One, was bred in Kentucky by Sagamore Farm

Saez’s six victories on the day – Determinedly ($4.22) in Race 1, Victory Formation($4.74) in Race 3, Vahva ($5) in Race 4, Point Proven ($6.50) in Race 5, Worthington ($9.10) in Race 6 and Instant Coffee ($5.08) in Race 11 – was just the 12th time that milestone has occurred at Churchill Downs, which opened in 1875. It fell one win short of the track record of seven, set byPat Day on June 20, 1984 and matched by Julien Leparoux on Nov. 11, 2008.

The Kentucky Jockey Club is named in honor of the holding company that operated Churchill Downs at the time of the race’s inaugural running in 1920. In recent years, the Kentucky Jockey Club produced Kentucky Derby winners in WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, who won both races for trainer Todd Pletcher in 2009 and ’10, and Mike Pegram’s Real Quiet, the runner-up in the 1997 Kentucky Jockey Club who returned to win the Derby the following spring.



LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022) – Courtlandt Farm’s Powerful contested the early pace from the inside and surged clear inside the final sixteenth of a mile to win Saturday’s second running of the $200,000 Ed Brown for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs by one length overMr. Bob

          Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Powerful covered the 6 ½ furlongs on a fast track in 1:17.12.

          A 2-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Nyquist out of the Pulpit mare Antiquity, Powerful improved his record to 2-1-0 in three starts and added $121,140 to his bankroll and increased his earnings to $207,390. Previously, he finished 11th in the $600,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland after breaking his maiden at Saratoga.

          Powerful returned $7.16, $3.66 and $2.50 as the 5-2 favorite in the field of seven juvenile sprinters. Mr. Bob, ridden by Luis Saez, returned $4.78 and $3.10 with Frosted Departurefinishing third under Brian Hernandez Jr. and paying $3.82 to show. 

          Accident was fourth and was followed by Top RecruitBourbon Bash and Mounsieur Coco



LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022) – Ashbrook Farm and Upland Flats Racing’sRed Carpet Lady caught pace pacesetter Twirled at the top of the stretch and drew clear inside the final furlong to win the second running of the $200,000 Fern Creek for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday at Churchill Downs by 3 ¼ lengths. Key of Life, the odds-on 2-5 favorite, was another neck back of Twirled in third.

          Red Carpet Lady, trained by Rusty Arnold and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., ran 6 ½ furlongs over a fast track in 1:16.72.

          The victory was worth $122,070 and increased Red Carpet Lady’s earnings to $191,070 with a record of two wins in two starts. She is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Oscar Performance out of the Street Sense mare Wild Silk, and broke her maiden at first asking on Oct. 30 at Churchill Downs by 10 lengths.

          Sent off at odds of 7-1, Red Carpet Lady returned $16.84, $6.58 and $2.80. Twirled, underTyler Gaffalione, and paid $5.42 and $2.64 with Key of Life paying $2.10 to show under Florent Geroux.

          Baytown LovelyThe Great Maybe and Tell Me When completed the order of finish.

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.