Hoosier Philly Impresses in Golden Rod

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Tom Amoss has trained some talented fillies. First, he conditioned Heritage of Gold  for a portion of her career. The $30,000 bargain buy went on to capture two grade 1 races and over $2.3 million in earnings. More recently, Amoss had the brilliant Serengeti Empress , a frontrunner who carried her speed to a gate-to-wire triumph in the 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). And now he has the undefeated flash of gray that is Hoosier Philly .

And according to Amoss, “we haven’t seen the best of her yet.”

The trainer lavished praise upon his prized pupil following Hoosier Philly’s facile five-length victory in the $400,000 Golden Rod Stakes (G2) Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs.

“In her first start, we had to run her a short distance, 5 1/2 furlongs, and she won, and she looked good doing it, but you did not get to see what Hoosier Philly’s about and when we ran her two turns you did,” Amoss said. “And she showed it again today. I feel very blessed to have one as talented as she is. And I’ve said it multiple times I’ve never had one as good as she is. I’m lucky to be a part of her team. She’s got great, God-given talent. I’ve never been around one like this.”

A standout from the beginning, Hoosier Philly was acquired for $510,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling sale by agent Lauren Carlisle on behalf of new owners Bill Stone and Rod Ratcliff. The pair formed the partnership Gold Standard Racing Stable. Hoosier Philly was their first starter when she won her debut under the Twin Spires back in September.

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“I grew up in Evansville, Indiana, which is 100 miles from here, and I used to hitchhike to come to the races at Churchill,” Stone said. “That’s a long time ago, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Churchill Downs, and I’ve been to several Kentucky Derbys. It’s a lot of fun here, and I really admire what this has become. Fifty years ago when I used to come here, Churchill was still wonderful, but it wasn’t this.”

Photo: Coady Photography

Hoosier Philly wins the Golden Rod Stakes

As the sun began its slow descent in the Louisville sky, the field of seven fillies loaded into the gate for the 1 1/16-mile test for juvenile fillies. Entering off a scintillating romp in the slop in the Rags to Riches Stakes over this oval Oct. 30, Hoosier Philly was bet down at less than even money by post time.

Ridden by Edgar Morales, her only companion in three starts, Hoosier Philly tracked in third position down the backstretch as Rags to Riches runner-up T Max  and Stonestreet Stables’ Pure Pauline  duked it out for the first six furlongs, churning out steady fractions of :24.29, :47.79, and 1:12.28. Hoosier Philly floated three-wide up to her rivals into the turn for home and cruised to take control under a motionless Morales.

The daughter of Into Mischief   streaked to the wire under the Churchill lights, stopping the timer in 1:43.94 on a fast main track, running over a second faster than the males ran in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) one race later.

Hoosier Philly paid $2.96 for a $2 win ticket. Longshot Knockyoursocksoff , trained by Chris Block, ran second in the Golden Rod in her dirt debut after a runner-up effort in the Jessamine Stakes (G2T) at Keeneland last time out. Godolphin’s Pretty Mischievous , a blue-blooded product of Into Mischief and the grade 1-winning race mare Pretty City Dancer, was a neck back in third in her first try at stakes company.

“When you get really, really good people like Tom Amoss and Lauren Carlisle you get good horses,” Stone said. “Tom has trained her well. And we’re fortunate enough that she’s just a very special horse. As Edgar (Morales) said last time, there’s several gears that people haven’t seen yet, so we’re excited to see what she’s capable of.”

Being 3-for-3 over the Churchill Downs strip, it would be difficult not to dream of Kentucky Oaks lilies for the connections of Hoosier Philly. Amoss indicated that both Hoosier Philly and Kentucky Jockey Club runner-up Curly Jack  will be given a freshening in Ocala, Fla., before pursuing their 3-year-old campaigns. During the winter, Amoss is based in New Orleans at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

Hoosier Philly wins the Golden Rod Stakes on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at Churchill Downs
Photo: Coady Photography

Hoosier Philly’s connections enjoy the trophy presentation for the Golden Rod Stakes

Hoosier Philly, bred in Kentucky by Candy Meadows, is the first foal out of the Tapit   mare Tapella . The mare, herself a $750,000 yearling, is produced from the undefeated Any Given Saturday  mare Princess Arabella , a stakes winner who showed signs of greatness before retiring from injury prematurely into her 3-year-old season. Tapella has a yearling colt by Mastery   and a weanling colt by Justify  .

Although Amoss has conceded the 2-year-old filly championship to NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) heroine Wonder Wheel , he looks forward to taking on the Mark Casse trainee next year.

“Certainly Wonder Wheel is the (champion), she won two grade 1s. But we look forward to getting to compete against her,” Amoss said. “I don’t regret not running in the Breeders’ Cup at all. I’m looking out for this filly, and she’s looking out for me.”

Video: Golden Rod S. (G2)

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