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3 Stars of the Week:
-1st Star – Najjaar (KY) – Najjaar made his much-anticipated second start of the Oaklawn meet last Friday, and he did not disappoint us. He found himself more than fifteen lengths behind approaching the final turn, but in what seemed like a second he swept by the field and defeated the group of allowance horses with ease. The competition will heat up as now Najjaar must face Graded Stakes company in the Rebel next time out, but he might be up the task. He joins a sort list of Oaklawn locals that might have a shot at defeating the brigade of shippers that are expected to come in for that race.
-2nd Star – Fastestwhogetspaid (ON) – There weren’t many people thinking Fastestwhogetspaid would win the Gazebo last Saturday, (he was 38-1) but he ran an extremely gutsy race. He was slow to break, faced trouble at the turn, and had to rally on the inside of horses, but STILL won the race in a photo finish with Lake Victor. From here Fastestwhogetspaid can look at other sprint races down the road, and his late rally suggests he might be able to stretch out to a mile.
-3rd Star – Holy Heavens (FL) – Making her first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill, Holy Heavens came back in style, defeating a decent allowance field by almost two lengths. The race was so good that now the Jayaraman’s are thinking about running her back in the Azeri Stakes on March 17th. The Azeri is expected to draw Joyful Victory, who beat Holy Heavens on a couple of occasions last year so we may get to see how each of these horses has progressed throughout the last year.
Biggest Flop of the Week:
– Exfactor (KY) – Saturday’s Gazebo Stakes had to have been extremely disappointing for trainer Bernie Flint. Exfactor was well within striking distance turning for home, but came up empty running down the lane, fading to finish seventh. Jockey Terry Thompson said a slow start may have done Exfactor in, as he had to use the horse a lot to get him into the race. Bottom line: This was a field that Exfactor should have dominated.
Preview to Next Week:
-The Razorback Handicap (Grade 3): For four-year olds males and upward. 1 and 1/16th mile. Purse $125,000
Probable Starters: Win Willy, Color Me Blue, Alternation, It Happened Again, Endorsement
-The Honey Bee Stakes (Grade 3): For three-year old fillies. 1 and 1/16th mile. Purse $125,000
Probable Starters: Amie’s Dini, Colonial Empress, Inca Miss, On Fire Baby, Rocket Twentyone, Silver Hustler
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