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Some of the best racing action this past weekend came north of the border, where Woodbine put on a fantastic Woodbine Oaks day card that included five stakes. Saratoga had its share of great performances, too, but which one was best? Check out our latest Three Stars of the Week:
We thought we knew who was the best 3-year-old filly in the country after Gamine won last weekend’s Test Stakes (G1), but Swiss Skydiver left no doubt regarding her superiority in Saturday’s Alabama Stakes (G1). The Kenny McPeek trainee closely chased the early pace, and when she made her move to the front, she quickly left everyone else in her dust. She also showed that she can handle any length of distance after smartly covering the 1 1/4-mile distance. The Kentucky Oaks (G1) is next, and after that, the Breeders’ Cup; the Alabama is a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Distaff (G1).
Jockey Patrick Husbands put on a complete clinic in Saturday’s Woodbine Oaks, expertly piloting the favored Curlin’s Voyage through traffic from the rear and taking the lead at the top of the stretch. She drew off very impressively for victory in the premiere event for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies. Since the first running in 1860, 37 fillies have won the $1 million Queen’s Plate, essentially the Canadian-bred version of the Kentucky Derby (G1). After what we saw from Curlin’s Voyage, she could very well become the 38th – if her connections choose to run there.
After a horse has won 24 races in its career, 21 at the stakes level, and all at the same track, it becomes difficult finding a race that he hasn’t won. Yet on Saturday, the legendary Pink Lloyd finally achieved victory in the only sprint Woodbine race that was missing from his resume: the Bold Venture Stakes (G3). He had to fight hard to create space in the stretch because the two front-runners were doing their best to keep him pinned inside. He overcame a blockade, high temperatures, and 7 pounds more than his rivals to finally win the Bold Venture. Hat’s off to him.
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