Turf action took center stage last weekend, with several big stakes events contested on both coasts. Find out who we thought came up with the best performances in our latest edition of Three Stars of the Week:
1. Julie Olimpica
Could this be the next star from the Richard Mandella barn? Julie Olimpica made her American debut a winning one last Saturday, taking home the Las Cienegas Stakes (G3) by 1 1/4 lengths. After three dominating wins in Brazil, the filly now looks like she could be a force in this country. The 5 1/2-furlong distance of the Las Cienegas was probably a bit short for her, so she could show even more talent when going longer. This is a filly to add to your virtual stables.
The hard-knocking Tusk was spotted perfectly last Saturday in the Tropical Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park for his first stakes victory. After stalking the early pace up the backside, Tusk kicked clear of the pace-setting Gidu at the top of the stretch, before kicking away down the lane for a 2-length win. He has now won 4 of his last 5 starts, which means he’ll likely be showing up in many races similar to this event in the coming months.
3. Magic Star
The Chad Brown-trained Magic Star bounced back in a big way last Saturday in the Marshua’s River Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, picking up a 1/2-length victory. She was a nice maiden winner on debut at Saratoga, before disappointing in an allowance event last time out at Belmont Park. This time around, there was no disappointment, though, as she flew home with a tremendous late run down the stretch. Brown will have no shortage of turf horses throughout the year, and she just became another one to add to the list.