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Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Derby Excitement Building
Express Train (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Derby Excitement Building

Excitement for the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail continued building this past weekend, with great performances and thrilling finishes dotting the landscape from coast to coast. The Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep races didn’t disappoint, either, and a new threat in the older dirt male division may have emerged.

Here’s who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:

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1. Express Train

The well-regarded John Shirreffs trainee roared to the lead with a beautiful sweeping move off the far turn and ran off in Saturday’s San Pasqual Stakes (G2). After rallying from off the pace to finish second in the 7-furlong Malibu Stakes (G1) last month, he showed a new ability to carry that same rallying kick around two turns. Barring any sudden changes, he should enter the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) as the favorite.

2. Greatest Honour

The hype following Greatest Honour into Saturday’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park played out impressively when the Shug McGaughey trainee put on a show against a flashy field that included an even-money favorite from the Todd Pletcher barn. Though it took him 4 starts to break his maiden, Greatest Honour’s career thus far is beginning to look an awful lot like that of McGaughey’s 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. 

3. Medina Spirit

If we had Honorable Mentions, we’d give them to Roman Centurian and Hot Rod Charlie, who fought tooth and nail alongside Medina Spirit the length of the stretch in Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park. Ultimately, though, it was the pace-setting Bob Baffert trainee who held on gamely to capture 10 more Kentucky Derby points. While these horses still need to develop if they want to become Derby threats, they certainly gave the fans in us an exciting finish.

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