After watching the stakes action across the country this weekend, including seeing a consistent New Yorker return to the winner’s circle. Uultimately, we felt that a pair of chestnut-colored juveniles on the west coast deserved top honors. See who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella has made more than his fair share of shrewd moves to get the best out of his horses. He seems to have a potential superstar in Astute, whose dirt debut resulted in a 7 1/2-length romp in Saturday’s Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar. Mandella said that dirt was always the plan for the Speightstown filly, but that he could only get a race to fill on turf (which she won from off the pace). No matter the surface, watch out for this one.
2. Red Flag
All eyes watching Sunday’s Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar were on Spielberg, the latest $1 million juvenile for trainer Bob Baffert, but the barn’s tough luck continued as the John Shirreffs-conditioned Red Flag powered home to an eye-popping 7 1/4-length romp. The son of Tamarkuz was switching back to dirt after breaking his maiden in a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint and seemed to shock even his well-respected trainer Shirreffs, who knows how to manage talented horses.
One of the most consistent horses in training is Christophe Clement’s Therapist, who has now won stakes at ages 2, 3, 4, and 5. Entering Saturday’s Artie Schiller Stakes, he had finished in the money every start this year, including a runner-up finish in the Mohawk Stakes against fellow New York-breds. Despite stepping up to face open company in the Artie Schiller, Therapist nailed a pair of well-bet Chad Brown trainees right on the wire. You HAVE to watch the replay!