We almost needed SIX stars this week because it was so close, there were so many great performances. Woodbine hosted the Queen’s Plate on Sunday and we saw several great performances, including Holy Helena and Green Mask. Gulfstream Park hosted the Summit of Speed on Saturday, where Three Rules and Curlin’s Approval shined bright. Monmouth Park and Belmont also jumped in on the action all weekend long. However, none of the previously-mentioned horses made our Three Stars. Here’s who did:
1. Imperial Hint
It was a “wow” moment for Imperial Hint when he crushed the competition in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint, and in a way, this was his coming-out party. Jockey Javier Castellano had his hands full early on in the race, as Imperial Hint was not happy sitting behind horses, but when he calmed down, he crushed the competition on the turn. This win will springboard him to bigger races from here on out and is definitely on my radar for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
2. Danzing Candy
Bob Baffert just keeps on winning races! He’s now won 14 of 18 dirt stakes races since Kentucky Derby Day (via BloodHorse’s Jeremy Balan). Danzing Candy was pressed every step of the way by Coastline in the Grade 2 San Carlos, but he was able to toss him aside on the turn and then held off a late challenge from Ransom the Moon. The Baffert-trained Danzing Candy was assigned a 107 Beyer for the effort.
3. Unchained Melody
We could have a new star in the 3-Year-Old Filly division after Unchained Melody dominated her rivals in the Grade 2 Mother Goose Stakes. Even with Lockdown charging at her late, Unchained Melody never yielded an inch, pulling away slightly at the end. It’s important to note that Holy Helena, who beat the boys in the Queen Plate, could also play a big part in this division over the summer.