Last Saturday seemed to have a little bit of everything. The 2-year-olds took center stage at Los Alamitos, while Gulfstream Park celebrated Caribbean Classic Day for the second year in a row. As normal, trainer Bob Baffert had plenty to say about the outcome of things in Los Alamitos. Let’s check out our Three Stars of the Week after all the dust settled last weekend:
Say hello to the Kentucky Derby favorite heading into 2019! Improbable made it a perfect 3-for-3 on Saturday with a win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity Stakes. For Baffert, it was his fifth straight Futurity victory, and he also took second with Mucho Gusto. After stalking his stablemate’s early pace, Improbable drew even at the top of the stretch, then put them all away with absolute ease to win the race by 5 lengths. Baffert is loaded for the Kentucky Derby once again, and this horse is possibly his best.
2. Chasing Yesterday
It was a storybook ending in Saturday’s Grade 1 Starlet Stakes for those of us who were attached to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. His half-sister, Chasing Yesterday, became a Grade 1 winner, coming out victorious by a head over Enaya Alrabb and stablemate Mother Mother. Despite being planted four-wide throughout the entire race, Chasing Yesterday was able to still make up ground in the stretch, as the filly dug down deep to get past her rivals in deep stretch. For the second year in a row, Bob Baffert won both the Los Alamitos Futurity and the Starlet. Much like Improbable, Chasing Yesterday is geared up for a big run in 2019.
It’s not every day we see a Mexican Triple Crown Winner run in the United States. However, that is exactly what we got to see on Saturday when Kukulkan came to Gulfstream Park to run in the Caribbean Classic Stakes. This was said to be the toughest test yet for Kukulkan, who was a perfect 13-for-13 coming into the contest. After stalking the early pace down the backside, he made a tremendous move on the turn before completely devastating his rivals for a 10 1/4 length beatdown. Mexico took the last two races of the day, which made for an amazing celebration in the winners circle at Gulfstream Park. Kukulkan was a major highlight on a fun day of racing.