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Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Belmont Brings the Goods
Jockey Luis Saez celebrates after Essential Quality won the Belmont Stakes (Credit: NYRA)

Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Belmont Brings the Goods

What a wild and crazy weekend of racing at Belmont Park, highlighted by Saturday’s $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) that gave us a fittingly thrilling stretch run to end the 2021 Triple Crown season. See who we thought were the Three Stars of the Week:

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1. Essential Quality

The 2020 Juvenile Champion proved Saturday that he’s still the best in the crop when his strong stretch run propelled him past too-good-to-lose Hot Rod Charlie to win the Belmont Stakes. The victory came 1 start after a wide trip cost him the Kentucky Derby (G1), where he finished fourth in his only defeat to date. The Brad Cox trainee earned a whopping 109 Beyer Speed Figure and is reportedly targeting the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga later this summer. We can’t wait to see what he does next.

2. Domestic Spending

Trainer Chad Brown’s latest turf superstar turned Saturday’s Manhattan Stakes (G1) into a laughingstock after unleashing his lethal turn-of-foot to secure his third straight Grade 1 score. It seems like the only way he loses is if he gets a horrendous trip – fat chance of that happening as long as Flavien Prat continues riding him. This is easily our choice for Horse of the Year so far.

3. Silver State

Just as Domestic Spending seems untouchable on turf, Silver State is proving to be an unstoppable force on dirt after his sixth straight victory came in Saturday’s Met Mile (G1). At this point, they may as well name the race after Silver State’s Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who combined with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. has now won the Met Mile in 3 of the past 4 years. This was a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile, which at Del Mar is a two-turn event. Right now, that race looks like it’s his to lose.

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