Churchill Downs stole the show this weekend with two Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Events” including the Stephen Foster (G2) and the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2). Their special night card always follows the weekend of the Belmont Stakes (G1), while also unofficially kicking off the summer months of racing. Let’s check out the winners of the those two events, plus one more solid performance in our latest Three Stars of the Week:
1. Seeking the Soul
Churchill Downs has always been kind to Seeking the Soul, so it should come as no surprised that he was able to pick up another big victory at the track on Saturday night in the Stephen Foster Stakes. The Dallas Stewart trained colt sat in mid-pack up the backside, before making a move at the top of the stretch. He slowly cut into the margin of the front running pair of Quip and Tom’s d’Etat down the lane, taking the lead late to get up for a neck victory. The win earned him an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic. As of now, that race is going to be held at Santa Anita, but their is speculation it could be moved to Churchill Downs. If so, that would give Seeking the Soul a much better shot at making an impact.
It was great to see her back in the winners circle after a couple of so-so efforts to kick off her 2019 season. At her best, this is one of the best females in the country; however, she also has had her fair share of injury concerns that has forced her to miss some action. On Saturday night she was able to find her winning stride, though, wearing down Blue Prize and She’s a Julie late in the race to win the Fleur de Lis Stakes. After sitting in third for most of the race, she still looked to be spinning her wheels halfway down the stretch, before kicking it into a another gear for a one and a half length triumph. This victory gets her an automatic bid into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), where two years ago she was the favorite. As for her next start, one would think Saratoga would be where she is aiming.
3. King for a Day
Upset Alert! Sunday’s Pegasus Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park was supposed to be all about the return of Maximum Security; however, instead it turned into the King for a Day show. As usual, Maximum Security went straight to the front, but this time he was pressured on the outside by King for a Day right out of the gate. Turning for home you could tell this was turning into a two-horse affair, with the two front runners kicking clear by multiple lengths. The duo battled for the entire stretch, before the Todd Pletcher trained King for a Day kicked clear of Maximum Security for a one-length victory. This result will surely shake up the 3-year-old division, which was already in flux. Races like the Jim Dandy (G2), Haskell Stakes (G1), and Travers Stakes (G1) became more important than ever after this race. It will be a fun summer, almost as fun as sport betting online in New Jersey.