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Del Mar was the place to be last weekend as they hosted the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, which is the highlight of their meet each year. The race has produced many stars over its long history and it did not fail to disappoint us once again this season. Saratoga also played host to the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, which has its long and prestigious history. Let’s see how it all played out and who earned our Three Stars of the Week:
This is officially the “King of California” after picking up his third Grade 1 of the season last Saturday in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Not only did he win, but he absolutely crushed the field by nearly 13 lengths after taking charge on the far turn. This win sets him up as the early favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, especially since his stablemate Catalina Cruiser looks like he will point for the Dirt Mile. Trainer John Sadler suggested that the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita would be Accelerate’s next start as his final prep for the Breeders’ Cup. The level of improvement that Accelerate has shown this year has been nothing short of amazing.
In Flavien Prat we trust! This was easily the ride of the weekend, and maybe the ride of the year, as Prat took Fashion Business from the back of the pack to the lead with a bold move rounding the turn on the Del Mar turf course. Fashion Business responded and kicked away from his competition to win the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap by over 5 lengths while earning an automatic spot in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf in November. Rather than wait and make one run down the stretch like normal, the early move by Prat simply put away all the other horses, who finished in a scramble behind the winner. Fashion Business will likely have one prep race at Santa Anita before heading to Churchill for the Breeders’ Cup.
On Saturday at Saratoga, we found out which filly in the 3-year-old crop wanted to go a mile and 1/4, and the answer was very clear as the Kenny McPeek trainer Eskimo Kisses kicked away from the field with ease to win the Alabama. After dropping back early like always, the filly made a big move down the stretch and overtook the leaders thay set a swift pace up front to win the race by 6 1/2 lengths. This was a well-deserved win for Eskimo Kisses after she had run well against the top horses in her division all year long. A win like this will likely set her up for another big stakes try in a spot like Parx for the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes in September.
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