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This class of 3-year-olds might be one of the deeper groups we’ve seen in a long time, as they proved once again this past weekend by dominating the headlines in the biggest races. From Saratoga to Del Mar, let’s celebrate their strong efforts once more in the latest Three Stars of the Week:
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After finishing second in all 3 graded stakes at Saratoga on Saturday, Joel Rosario’s bell curve peaked Sunday when the jockey won 3 in a row towards the end the card. None were more impressive than Jackie’s Warrior absolutely romping in the Amsterdam Stakes (G2), where the 3-year-old colt posted super-sharp opening fractions in the slop and still won by daylight without ever being asked. His prowess on fast and wet dirt being equal, this looks like a prime candidate to give trainer Steve Asmussen his second Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) title in the past 3 years.
The Belmont Stakes (G1) champ overcame a wide trip throughout Saturday’s Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga and narrowly held off Keepmeinmind to stay perfect in 2021. Even though he was four-wide at the top of the stretch, once Essential Quality saw the rail-skimming Keepmeinmind was ahead of him, he dug in gamely and saved many bettors’ tickets as the 2/5 favorite. Afterward, trainer Brad Cox was pleased with the effort and said that he’d gotten a good education ahead of August 28’s Travers Stakes (G1).
Not to be completely outdone by his east coast brethren, Dr. Schivel gave trainer Mark Glatt and jockey Flavien Prat their second consecutive victories in Saturday’s Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at De Mar. Not only was it a title defense for those two men, but it was also the second time they won with a 3-year-old. The speed figures didn’t come back as strongly as the horses ranked above him here, but he still gave a rock-solid effort to defeat older horses, including multiple graded stakes winner and 3/2 race favorite C Z Rocket.
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