Farrell pulls off in 10-1 upset of Golden Rod

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Jen Caldwell

November 26th, 2016

Coffeepot Stables’ homebred Farrell drew off in the stretch of Saturday’s $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs to record an easy six-length win at 10-1.

Jockey Channing Hill held the reins on the Malibu Moon filly , who grabbed command soon after the start and proceeded to set fractions of :23.89, :48.33, 1:13.80 and 1:37.93. Lovely Bernadette and Gris Gris kept Farrell company early but could not keep up as the leader began pulling away.

Farrell kept motoring in the stretch, crossing under the wire much the best to stop the clock in 1:44.26 for 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track. She paid $23 as the 10-1 sixth choice.

Daddys Lil Darling, the 5-2 favorite, came running from last to take second by a neck over Ever So Clever. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Gris Gris, who was followed by 7-2 second choice Lovely Bernadette, China Grove, Dream Dancing, Dance Proposal, My Sweet Stella, Someday Soon, Funny Holiday and Fun.

Farrell took two tries to break her maiden, running fourth in her initial start on September 17 at Churchill Downs before showing up two weeks later under the Twin Spires to score by five lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs. The Wayne Catalano pupil tried the one-mile Rags to Riches Stakes last out and finished third by 1 1/2 lengths.

The Kentucky-bred miss improved her career mark to 4-2-0-1 in the Golden Rod and now boasts $151,357 in lifetime earnings.

Farrell is out of Grade 2-placed stakes winner Rebridled Dreams, who is by Unbridled’s Song and has also produced dual Grade 1 conqueror and millionaire Carpe Diem; Grade 1 victor J. B.’s Thunder; multiple Group 3-placed listed hero Doncaster Rover; and Grade 2 runner-up Semper Fortis.

Farrell photo courtesy of Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos


Wayne Catalano, trainer Farrell, winner

“She trained very, very well for the last couple of weeks and she had a race over the track and had run very well and we wanted our best performance today. She’s run some big races but her best one was waiting for today and she showed up with it. The Rags to Riches was the stepping stone to here and she ran well, but we really, really loved her going into today’s race. She trained great, got the race over the track. Everything was beautiful.

“We’ll sit down with the owners and get there (to the Kentucky Oaks [G1]) in the best way that we know how. She’ll probably go to Fair Grounds for the winter. I’ll see what’s the best route to go. I’ll map it out with owners and talk to those guys. We’ll sit down and make a plan and see what the best way to get to that race is.”

Channing Hill, jockey Farrell, winner

“It’s an easy ride when you’re on much the best and have everything your way and obviously the horse got squeezed a little bit going into the first turn, but she had everything else her own way and she was relaxed. (Trainer) Wayne (Catalano) had her on point and ready to roll. The biggest thing was that she settled into the turn and on the backside and from there, it was going to be tough to catch her. She’s got a lot of quality to her. She’s going to be tough wherever she goes this winter.”

Kenny McPeek, trainer Daddys Lil Darling, second

“She ran good. Once again the post position was tricky, but nobody was going to beat Wayne’s filly the way she ran. She ran huge.”

What’s next for your filly?

“She’ll get a break. We’ll probably point her toward the Fair Grounds for the winter. I think I’m going to point her toward the (Fair Grounds) Oaks down there.”

Corey Lanerie, jockey Daddys Lil Darling, second

“We had a little bit of trouble, but with a clean trip I don’t know if I could catch the winner. He looked like he (jockey Channing Hill) had things his way from where I was. I just wish I could draw an inside post with this filly because she has just enough speed where if I try to be closer I thing going to be hung out in the parking lot, and I’ll be mad at myself for getting beat there. So I’ve got to worry about saving ground in the first turn and she gives up a few lengths. But she was awesome to ride today – she was like driving a car through the holes. She’s a good horse.”

Ricardo Santana Jr., jockey Ever So Clever, third

“She ran good. I’m very proud of her. She always tries hard and is a really nice filly. She got a little tired in the end and that’s why we lost second. But I have a lot of confidence in that filly for the future.”

She was well back early, did you have any traffic problems?

“No, she had a beautiful trip.”