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Centofanti: Rose to Gold 'has been a miracle for me'
Though his filly Rose to Gold remains at Oaklawn Park in advance of Wednesday's Grade 3 Fantasy, co-owner Alex Centofanti was at Calder Saturday morning to discuss his Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks hopeful, winner of last year's Brave Raj and Lindsay Frolic Stakes at Calder and most recently the heroine of the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn.
"When I saw (favorite) Flashy Gray in the paddock before the race (Honeybee), she was such a good looking filly, I thought we were in trouble," Centofanti confessed. "Honestly, I just wanted 'Rose' to run a good race and put up a fight, but I really didn't think we would win."
But win is exactly what the Friends Lake filly did, thanks in large part to a deft ride by jockey Calvin Borel.
"When the gates opened, I was a little surprised to see her go right to the lead like she did," Centofanti said. "With a veteran rider like Calvin, you don't want to say too much before the race because you have to trust them."
Borel took the chestnut miss right to the lead and the filly was never caught, with Flashy Gray unable to get closer than two lengths. The final margin of victory was 2 3/4 lengths.
"When Calvin came back, he told me 'Alex, I wasn't trying to go to the lead, she just took me there,'" Centofanti said. "If you go back and look at the replay, she was on a loose rein most of the way. He let her do what she wanted, and that was perfect."
Borel will be aboard Rose to Gold once again in the Fantasy, and with a good run, a start in the Kentucky Oaks, where having a Churchill specialist like Calvin is surely advantageous. Centofanti, however, refuses to look past Wednesday's race.
"I don't think about any of that right now," Centofanti said. "She has been a miracle for me. And every race, I take one at a time; I'm just thankful we've got her."
Centofanti will travel to Oaklawn on Tuesday.