Golden Rod 2023 Picks

Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs (Photo by Stacy Edwards)

By Jarrod Horak

The road to Kentucky Oaks 2024 continues with the Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 25, and I have included picks below. The Grade 2 event for 2-year-old fillies has a $400,000 purse and the eight entrants will be traveling 1 1/16 miles on the main track. It is the 10th race on Nov. 25 and the top five finishers will earn Oaks points (10-5-3-2-1). 

Golden Rod 2023 Picks & Final Time Ratings 

Dozen Diamonds tries conventional dirt for the first time. She wired the field in her fourth lifetime start in a turf route at Keeneland on Oct. 25. The daughter of Mendelssohn needs to run faster. 

Intricate finished behind West Sunset in her six furlong bow and that race was too short for her. She stretched out to 1 1/6 miles at Keeneland on Oct. 13, and she sat behind slow fractions and blasted home to score by a sharp 3 1/2 lengths. This race also figures to be slow early and fast late, and she should be able to stay within hailing distance of the early leaders under her regular rider Tyler Gaffalione. 

Purloin stalked the pace from the inside post and scored by a length and a half as the betting favorite. That race was originally scheduled for turf and run at one mile in the slop at Aqueduct on Oct. 14, and she defeated three rivals that day. Cherie DeVaux’s $400k Arrogate filly gets a much tougher test in this spot. 

Here’s the Spider exits a dirt route stakes win vs. Ohio-bred fillies. She steps way up in class and will try to rally from off the pace.

Central Avenue went last-to-first in her extended sprint bow at Colonial Downs, and rallied for the place behind subsequent BC Juvenile Fillies winner Just F Y I in the Grade 1 Frizette in the slop on Oct. 7. The closer might not get enough pace help in this race. 

Gin Gin is one of two entrants for trainer Brad Cox. She was clearly second best as the beaten even money favorite in her bow, and controlled the pace and kept on going as the chalk at Churchill Downs second time out. She stalked the pace and landed the place behind her front running stablemate West Sunset in the Rags to Riches last time. 

West Sunset rallied from post 11 to win her dirt sprint bow by a neck, and stretched out and controlled the pace in an easy win in the Rags to Riches in the slop second time out. Both wins were under the Twin Spires and she might be the controlling speed again. 

Thorpedo Anna was visually impressive in both wins around one turn. She made a sustained wide run in her winning seven panel bow, and stalked wide and cruised away as the strong favorite second time out. She won her first two starts by a combined 17 1/2 lengths and is strictly the one to beat if she handles two turns. 

Golden Rod 2023 Picks

The Golden Rod is the seventh race in my Kentucky Oaks 2024 video series. I will cover each points race on the road to the Oaks. Check out my Golden Rod 2023 picks video below.