Delta Princess: Rose to Gold reaffirms affinity for dirt

Paco Lopez VINTON, La. – Rose to Gold returned to dirt on Saturday and got back in the win column when she held off Touch Magic by a half-length in the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess for 2-year-old fillies at Delta Downs. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third to Sittin At the Bar.

Rose to Gold ($7.60) was always prominent, tracking the leaders through fractions of 23.49 seconds for the opening quarter, 48.49 for the half-mile, and 1:13.85 for six furlongs. Rose to Gold took the lead in the stretch and covered the mile in 1:39.38.

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The effort was in sharp contrast from her last start, when she finished 12th in the Grade 1 Alcibiades run on Polytrack at Keeneland. Prior to that race she had won back-to-back stakes at Calder, by a combined margin of 26 lengths. The races were the first two starts of her career, and both were on dirt.

“The difference was today she was on a surface that she likes,” said Sal Santoro, who trains Rose to Gold for Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti. “The Polytrack was just not her thing.

“I was confident going into this race. I know the filly, she gives 110 percent. So, I was confident, but there were some great fillies in the race.”

Santoro said Rose to Gold’s next start is to be determined, but the objectives for her this winter are the Grade 2, $250,000 Davona Dale on Feb. 23 and the Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks on March 30. Both races are at Gulfstream Park.

Paco Lopez rode Rose to Gold for the first time Saturday. Rose to Gold earned $300,000 for her win, to push her career earnings to $372,889. She is now 3 for 4.