June 18, 2024

Two Phil’s, Hoosier Philly post romping wins in Street Sense, Rags to Riches

Two Phil's rolls in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Technically speaking, the $200,000 Street Sense S. (G3) and $200,000 Rags to Riches S. aren’t official qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1). But they might as well be.

Held over 1 1/16 miles, the Street Sense and Rags to Riches serve as local preps for the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) and Golden Rod S. (G2) at Churchill Downs, which respectively award qualification points toward the Derby and Oaks. As a result, the Street Sense and Rags to Riches tend to draw strong fields, and the Street Sense has produced 10 Kentucky Derby starters since its inaugural running in 2013.

The 2022 editions of the Street Sense and Rags to Riches took place on Sunday at Churchill Downs, opening day of the annual fall meet. On a “Stars of Tomorrow” card comprised exclusively of races for two-year-olds, Two Phil’s and Hoosier Philly staked their credentials as Derby and Oaks contenders worth watching.

Hoosier Philly was the first to strike. Entering off a debut victory sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs, the daughter of Into Mischief tracked early fractions of :24.08, :48.38, and 1:13.27 set by Peacock Lass before taking over and “splash[ing] away while playfully changing her leads” per the Equibase result chart. Her margin of victory was 7 1/2 lengths.

“She broke a little slow but she settled in very comfortably going into the turn. I had a ton of horse beneath me in the far turn and was so confident in the way she was going,” said winning jockey Edgar Morales. “Down the stretch she was switching leads but just playing around a little bit. She was so far in front of her competition and she knew that. I think she has a lot more gears left in her. She’s a very special filly and probably one of the best I’ve ever been on.”

Over a sloppy track playing on the slow side, Hoosier Philly reached the finish line in 1:46.90. The pace-tracking T Max stayed on for second place, followed by Fun and Feisty, Peacock Lass, Stellar Lady, East Shore, and Dre Me Less.

“She’s unlike any horse I’ve ever had in my career and that goes back to 1987,” said Tom Amoss, who trains Hoosier Philly on behalf of Gold Standard Racing Stable. “She was pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and was the first alternate in the race. We waited all the way until nine o’clock this morning to see if she could get in and when I called she was still on the outside so we decided to run her here.”

Two Phil’s, owned by the partnership of Patricia’s Hope and Phillip Sagan, was equally impressive in the Street Sense. A mad sprint to the first turn saw seven horses line up across the track, and Two Phil’s—racing precisely in the middle of the skirmish—took some bumps before dropping back and tucking in along the inside.

Two Phil’s bided his time as Top Recruit carved out fractions of :23.93 and :48.21, then unleashed a sudden blitz of acceleration around the far turn to seize command. He raced a bit greenly down the homestretch, but ultimately pulled away to defeat deep-closing Hayes Strike by 5 1/4 lengths in 1:47.31.

“He’s shown a lot of maturity in his last couple of starts,” remarked winning jockey Jareth Loveberry. “He’s started learning a lot more and settling early into the race. He got a little bounced around today but down the backside I got him to settle nicely and at the half-mile pole we were in a good position. I tipped him out a little bit and he showed me a lot of run.”

Fliparino finished third after a stumbling start, followed by Top Recruit, Red Route One, Honed, Frosted Departure, Jace’s Road, Boppy O, and Western Ghent.

The Street Sense marked a rebound for Two Phil’s. Winner of the Shakopee Juvenile S. in late summer at Canterbury Park, the Larry Rivelli trainee entered the Street Sense off a seventh-place finish in Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1).

“He’s been roughed around a couple times but Jareth has really figured him out,” said Rivelli. “He gave him a great ride today and has worked with him in each start to get to mature. He’s learned to relax and he’s a solid, sound horse. He ran great today and we’re thrilled with his potential.”

The Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod are scheduled for Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs, another day of exclusive juvenile racing known as the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program.