Seaneen Girl rallied from mid-pack to win Saturday’s $167,550 Golden Rod S (G2) at Churchill Downs (VIDEO
), giving freshman sire Spring at Last his third graded stakes winner from his first crop, most among all freshman sires.
Spring at Last ranks second on the Freshman Sire list with $1,144,723 in progeny earnings. The other graded winners for the young WinStar stallion are Spring in the Air (Grade 1 Alcibiades S.) and Spring Venture (Grade 2 Natalma S. and Grade 3 Mazarine S.).
With Pow Wow Wow setting the early pace of :23.85 for the first quarter mile and :48.33 for the half, Seaneen Girl rated in fifth position about three lengths off the lead. She took closer order on the final turn and shifted to the outside to engage Gal About Town, who took over the lead at the top of the stretch. With an eighth of a mile to run, Seaneen Girl put her nose in front and proved best in the final strides. Ridden by Miguel Mena, Seaneen Girl clocked the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.95 over a track rated “fast”
The Golden Rod is one of 20 races on the new point-based “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series that will determine which 14 fillies will have preference for next Spring's race for 3-year-old fillies..
Prior to winning the Golden Rod, Seaneen Girl, a 2-year-old Kentucky-bred filly out of the Afternoon Deelites mare Afternoon Krystal, finished second to Spring Venture in the Oct. 6 Mazarine, at Woodbine. After that race, she was purchased from Rolph A. Davis and Robert Tiller, who also trained the filly, by her current trainer Bernie Flint and owner Naveed Chowhan.
After the race, Flint explained how the purchase of Seaneen Girl came about. “I saw a couple of the Spring At Last’s run that I really liked and I was looking for one. I saw this filly run in Canada and a guy called me and told me she was for sale. I had to go right away to Canada if I wanted her, so I jumped on a plane and went to Canada, checked her out and then came back home the same day. It was pretty hard to do for an old man (Flint is 72). (Robert Tiller) did an excellent job of breaking this filly and bringing her around. He should get some credit.”
With her Golden Rod win, Seaneen Girl is now 2-1-1 in six starts, earning $170,197.