3 Stars of the Week
– 1st Star: Will Take Charge (KY) – All I can say is wow! Although I definitely thought Will Take Charge would run much better in the Rebel, I really didn’t think he’d win the race. A third place finish would have been a great effort, but he did so much more. Toughness and heart are two qualities this horse has shown twice now, as he was able to dig down deep and find the wire at the right time in both the Smarty Jones and Rebel Stakes. During the final 100 yards of the Rebel is when it looked like he was hitting his best strides, which is a great sign of things to come. Now the question is will he stay home and run in the Arkansas Derby, or will the Bluegrass Stakes be his final Kentucky Derby prep?
– 2nd Star: Tiz Miz Sue (KY) – There is no other horse in the country that deserved to win the Azeri Stakes more than Tiz Miz Sue. For over a year now she’s been knocking heads against the best in her division, and Saturday it was her turn to find the winners circle. The win gave Tiz Miz Sue back to back Azeri victories, and also gives her all the momentum heading into the Apple Blossom. Her victory also confirmed an angle that many handicappers believe in…Steve Hobby trained horses running their second race off a layoff are pretty tough to beat!
– 3rd Star: Oxbow (KY) – He may have lost the battle on Saturday, but I have a feeling Oxbow is slowly winning the war. Just think of the education he’s gotten out of his last two races, and also don’t forget how tough he’s ran considering poor post positions and wide trips. The move he made at the top of the stretch was incredible, and he looked like the winner every step of the way until the last few feet. At this point the only question mark could be the mile and one-quarter distance, although his breeding says he should be able to handle it. Either way, this is one talented and tough race horse.
Flop of the Week
– My Miss Aurelia (KY) – It wasn’t shocking to see her lose, but the way she lost was stunning. The incredibly classy and talented My Miss Aurelia just doesn’t look like the same horse after her impressive Breeders Cup Ladies Classic effort, and after her distance 3rd place effort in the Azeri her racing future is up in the air. Will they choose to move forward with her, or has this filly seen her last days at the race track? The Apple Blossom was said to be the goal before last Saturday’s race, so it will be interesting to see if that remains the case.
|Rank||Trainer Name||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Total $||Win%||Top3||Top3%|
|3||Steven M. Asmussen||92||19||17||13||$681,307||21%||49||53%|
|4||Donnie K. Von Hemel||76||13||11||11||$554,034||17%||35||46%|
|6||Kenny P. Smith||73||12||10||10||$309,662||16%||32||44%|
|8||Chris A. Hartman||54||11||13||7||$335,442||20%||31||57%|
|10||Joseph R. Martin||83||10||12||5||$260,013||12%||27||33%|
|13||Randy L. Morse||68||9||9||12||$241,150||13%||30||44%|
|14||D. Wayne Lukas||62||8||9||9||$910,304||13%||26||42%|
|14||Philip A. Sims||34||8||8||5||$387,044||24%||21||62%|
|14||Brad H. Cox||27||8||2||6||$123,745||30%||16||59%|
|Rank||Jockey Name||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Total $||Win%||Top3||Top3%|
|1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||175||40||21||31||$970,592||23%||92||53%|
|3||Luis S. Quinonez||158||26||20||16||$841,719||16%||62||39%|
|4||Terry J. Thompson||173||25||21||22||$686,376||14%||68||39%|
|6||M. Clifton Berry||160||22||28||20||$764,968||14%||70||44%|
|7||Jon Kenton Court||129||15||13||20||$966,571||12%||48||37%|
|9||Eddie Martin, Jr.||122||12||19||22||$397,615||10%||53||43%|
|12||Ramon A. Vazquez||112||9||12||10||$352,386||8%||31||28%|
|14||Rosemary B. Homeister, Jr.||86||8||10||8||$257,598||9%||26||30%|
|14||Joe M. Johnson||51||8||7||6||$172,764||16%||21||41%|
Preview to Next Week
– Saturday: The Hot Spring Stakes – 4 Year Olds and Up – 6 Furlongs – Purse: $75,000
– Sunday: The Arkansas Breeders – Female Division – 3 Year Old Fillies and Mares (Ark. Bred) – 1 1/16th miles – Purse: $50,000