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– 1st Star: Drogue (KY) – Who saw this one coming?? In Saturday’s running of the Fifth Season Stakes all eyes where on Drogue’s stable mate, Cyber Secret, but it was Drogue who stole the show winning by an eye-popping nine lengths. Coming into the race Drogue had won two nice allowance races at Churchill Downs, and trainer Mike Johnson had said the horse had been training excellent at Oaklawn since arriving. Still, it was Cyber Secret who was expected to romp. He was the winner of four races last year at Oaklawn, including the Razorback and Oaklawn Handicap. The win for Drogue was his first ever stakes win, and you’d have to think he’ll get more chances to add to that as the meet progresses.
– 2nd Star: Street Story (KY) – The wide open three-year old filly division kicked off Friday, and it was Street Story who made the first statement of the year as she won the Dixie Belle in stylish fashion. Street Story stalked the early hot pace, and was able to take the lead in mid stretch while holding off a late charge from Racing Holiday and Questile. It appears Street Story is rounding into form nicely, and her pedigree suggests that she’ll be able to stretch out. The Martha Washington in February could be her next race.
– 3rd Star: Ride On Curlin (KY) – There were several nice three-year performances on opening weekend, but Ride On Curlin’s stuck out as the best one. After struggling last time out at Churchill Downs, he found his form again in the six furlong sprint allowance on Sunday. He stalked a hot pace and was able to pounce at the top of the stretch and pull away with ease by two lengths. The workman like effort will most likely propel Ride On Curlin into the Southwest Stakes next time out. Consider him back in the Kentucky Derby picture.
– More Than Beauty (KY) – It’s hard to get down on anyone from this weekend considering how tough the track was playing, but More Than Beauty gets this infamous award by finishing eighth in the Dixie Bell on opening day. The pace was certainly hot in the race, and More Than Beauty was part of it, but she backed out very early before they even entered the stretch run. She was the beaten 2-1 favorite, but I do think there will be better days ahead for her.
– Saturday: The Pippin Stakes – Fillies and Mares 4 Year Olds and Upward – 1 1/16th Miles – Purse: $100,000
– Monday: The Smarty Jones Stakes – Three Year Olds – 1 Mile – Purse: $150,000
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