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Oaklawn Park and Keeneland Race Course took center stage last Saturday and didn’t disappoint. The Kentucky Derby prep races came to an end, while several star older horses have begun showing up for their 2018 campaigns. Let’s take a look at the latest Three Stars of the Week after all of the exciting action:
More distance, no problem! City of Light stretched out in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap after spending his entire career going one turn and answered the challenge with flying colors. In his sprint races, he was always on or near the lead, but on Saturday, he sat off the pace in fourth while rating kindly behind horses. At the top of the stretch, you could tell that it was going to be a match race between he and Accelerate. City of Light moved up to Accelerate’s outside and wore down the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner to win by a neck. The victory opens the door to a number of new opportunities for a horse that is getting better with each race.
It’s Chad Brown’s world, we’re just living in it. The turf magician entered three horses in Saturday’s Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland, and they finished 1-2-3. Sistercharlie was well clear of the others, though, and showed a tremendous turn of foot while making her first start since July. After trailing early in the race, Sistercharlie got clear late in the stretch and powered past her rivals to win by a little over 2 lengths. The horse was all the rage when she came to the United States last year, but injuries slowed her down. Now, she’s back and looks to be ready for a fantastic 2018 campaign.
There will be two horses that will try to take down the Curse of Apollo this year! Rising superstar Magnum Moon returned to Hot Springs on Saturday to win the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in dominating fashion. He stalked the early pace before finding himself on the lead heading into the first turn, but jockey Luis Saez kept him calm, rationing out fractions in perfect order. At the top of the stretch, Magnum Moon swung wide turning for home, then kicked away to win by multiple lengths while drifting out in the stretch. There’s obviously room for improvement with a horse that might still be a little green, but there’s no doubt that he will be a serious player in three weeks in the Kentucky Derby.
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