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Belmont Park’s spring meet came to an end this weekend, signaling that Saratoga is just around the corner, but before racing left Queens for Saratoga Springs, the big track put on one last epic weekend to end with a bang. See who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
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Top international trainer Aidan O’Brien invaded New York with a pair of elite-looking 3-year-olds, and the more impressive of the two was this filly in the Belmont Oaks (G1). After sitting a stalking trip while sandwiched between horses, she had to wait until long after straightening for home before she found room to get out, yet once she did, the after-burners kicked in and shot her past the pacesetting Con Lima in the shadow of the wire for victory. She continued her family’s excellence and is now the third foal of Senta’s Dream to win a Grade 1 in America; Iridessa was the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf champion and Order of Australia upset last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile. O’Brien already has plans to send Santa Barbara back for this fall’s Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.
Just 2 races after Santa Barbara’s victory, O’Brien’s other superstar shipper dominated the Americans in the Belmont Derby (G1). His trip was not as eventful and his final time was 0.66 seconds slower than the fillies’ race, Bolshoi Ballet dug in and demonstrated the class that made him the heavy favorite. Jockey Ryan Moore said after that the young colt was waiting and looking around in the stretch, which is why he didn’t explode when he seemed loaded. Regardless, like Santa Barbara, his connections are preparing for a return at the Breeders’ Cup. Bolshoi Ballet reportedly prefers firmer turf, which he’ll definitely get at Del Mar.
While a pair of international superstars displayed their goods on the turf, sandwiched between them was another 3-year-old’s equally impressive performance in the Victory Ride (G3). Although plenty of hype went on Australasia and Miss Brazil, neither was in contention halfway home in the stretch, which is when a rallying Souper Sensational came flying under Flavien Prat and swept away to a 3 1/4-length score. She was sharp cutting back from a series of routes and may target the 7-furlong Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 7.
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