Bar of Gold gets first turf stakes win in Yaddo

Friday, August 25th, 2017

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Bar of Gold (Medaglia d’Oro) transitioned from dirt to turf for her most recent two starts, and knocked on the door both times: second to Grand Jete at Belmont in an open allowance on July 13 and third, just three-quarters of a length short for all the money, in Saratoga’s De La Rose Stakes on August 5.

On Saratoga Showcase Day the stars aligned for the 5-year-old Chester and Mary Broman homebred. With a nifty move at the hedge, Bar of Gold gave John Kimmel a well-deserved first win at the meet while breaking 3-5 favorite Fourstar Crook’s eight-race winning streak.

Sent off at 5-1 under Irad Ortiz, Jr. from her inside post, Bar of Gold was in the hunt from the start, rating in third behind pacesetter Freudie Anne, who carved out early fractions of 23.71 and 48.20.

Maintaining her stalking position two lengths off the lead along the backstretch and through the far turn, Bar of Gold drafted in behind the leader at the head of the stretch. As a path opened up at the hedge, the mare was asked for more.

NYRA/Lauren King

Responding with a quick turn of foot, Bar of Gold shot up the inside to get the victory by 1 1/4 lengths. After one mile in 1:34.73, the final time for the 1 1/16 miles over the firm turf course was 1:40.12. Fourstar Crook closed from fifth to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Flipcup in third who finished a neck ahead of Ack Naughty in fourth. Completing the order of finish were Feeling Bossy and Jet Majesty.

“I just ran my race and settled my filly and tried to figure out if I could get through,” said Ortiz, Jr. “She ran a big race. It opened up for me and worked out good.”

“This horse has had some really difficult trips,” said Kimmel. “I thought there were some races she should’ve won. She’s been banging heads against some of the best ones. I thought I picked a soft spot here and I guess I forgot about Fourstar Crook, but she showed she can handle top-class horses when she’s on her game.”

Kimmel believes Bar of Gold, a multiple stakes winner and multiple graded stakes performer has taken to firm turf and to jockey Ortiz, who has been aboard three times now.

“I think she really likes the firm ground and likes to hear her feet rattle. Irad is really getting to know her now because she really gives you a quick turn of foot and the last time the ground had a little bit of give to it and he had to ask her a little early and she ran out of gas a little bit going wide having to make a big move.”

Continued Kimmel, “Today, he waited and it wasn’t that she got bumped at the top of the stretch. He kind of faked like he was going to the outside and then dropped in. She shot through there like a cannon. He’s really getting to know her and getting confident with her now.”

The conditioner is considering making the turf experiment permanent. “I guess we’ll talk it over. She’s come out of these grass races in really good form. The dirt races maybe took a little more toll on her, but these grass races have been very easy on her. She’s just a class act. She stayed healthy and maybe we can have some fun with her by the end of the year. Maybe [we’ll] get out of the New York condition and finally win a graded stakes with her. She’s placed in Grade 1s and hasn’t gotten a graded stake [win] yet.”

Bar of Gold is the first foal and one of two starters out of Khancord Kid, a Broman homebred by Lemon Drop Kid, also trained by Kimmel, who captured the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park turf in 2010. Chester Broman purchased Khancord Kid’s dam Confidently, an unraced daughter of Storm Cat, at Keeneland’s 2000 January sale of horses of all ages for $1 million.

Khancord Kid has a yearling colt by Giant’s Causeway and a weanling colt by American Pharoah. She was bred back to Medaglia d’Oro this spring.

Winner of the Empire Distaff, Critical Eye and Yaddo, runner up in the 2015 Grade 1 Test Stakes and sporting six more graded stakes placings on her resume, Bar of Gold has earned $918,500.

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