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3 Stars of the Week:
-1st Star – City Sage (FL) – When the opening fraction of 21.65 came up on the board in last Saturday’s Hot Springs Stakes, I figured front-runners City Sage and Silver Magnus were surely to be cooked up front. Silver Magnus faded, but City Sage did not as he put his fellow rivals away, and then held off a furious charge from Our Dark Knight. It was an utlra impressive performance for City Sage, and one that has to have trainer Kelly Von Hemel smiling about the possibility of running in the Grade 3 Count Fleet as well as some of the sprint races at Prairie Meadows this spring/summer.
-2nd Star – Outta Tune (KY) – As impressive as City Stage was, Outta Tune ran six furlongs on Sunday almost a full second faster than City Sage did. The final time was also the fastest six furlongs of the Oaklawn meet. This seven-year old gelding has now put in back to back performances that have been impressive. This race might have trainer Chris Richard thinking about the Grade 3 Count Fleet too. One thing to look forward is the fact that both City Sage and Outta Tune are more than likely heading to Prairie Meadows, so if they don’t meet in the Count Fleet, you can still expect them to meet in Iowa.
-3rd Star – Dust and Diamonds (KY) – After two and a half months off, Dust and Diamonds came back sharp on Saturday as she put away the field in a $35,000 Allowance Optional Claimer. She lead wire to wire, and was never really challenged. The win might have trainer Steve Asmussen thinking stakes company for her next time out. She clearly is classy enough to give it a shot.
Biggest Flop of the Week:
–Riley Tucker (KY) – In his last race Riley Tucker put in a huge effort in the King Cotton Stakes, but he just could not duplicate that performance last Saturday in the Hot Springs. He finished an even fourth, and was never able to threaten. It looked as though he didn’t care for the rail much, and at the age of seven his last race may have taken a little out of him. I wouldn’t write him off completely, but they might think about finding him a softer spot for his next race.
Preview to Next Week:
The Rainbow. 3-year-old Arkansas Breds. 6 Furlongs. Purse $50,000.
The Rainbow Miss. 3-year-old Arkansas Bred Fillies. 6 Furlongs. Purse $50,000.
The Arkansas Breeders’-Open Division. 3 Year Old Arkansas Breds and Up. 1 and 1/16th mile. Purse $50,000.
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