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Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Derby, Oaks Preps Return
Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand

Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Derby, Oaks Preps Return

We got a good look at the future 3-year-old crop this weekend, with a prep race for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and two for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) marking the return of those two trails at Aqueduct and Los Alamitos. None of those, however, topped the emotional Grade 1 win in the Cigar Mile, the headlining event of Saturday’s card at The Big A. Here’s our latest Three Stars of the Week:

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1. True Timber

A sloppy (sealed) track prevented a few entries from competing in the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1), but even those runners would’ve likely fallen at the hands of True Timber. The Jack Sisterson trainee took the lead at the top of the stretch and drew off exactly like a Grade 1-caliber horse should do. The victory was his first in 2 1/2 years and gave rider Kendrick Carmouche his first taste of success at the sport’s highest level. Carmouche was very emotional after the win, and a day later, he wrapped up his first career NYRA riding meet title.

2. Malathaat

Trainer Todd Pletcher called this filly his best 2-year-old in 2020 before she’d ever entered a starting gate, and she proved why with a much-the-best victory in Saturday’s Demoiselle Stakes (G2). After breaking from the rail, she stayed inside throughout both turns and showed little interest, but as soon as jockey John Velazquez tipped her out and into the clear, she took off with a monstrous surge and reeled in the leader in the late jumps. She’ll likely take a short break before returning in 2021 for another Oaks prep.

3. Brooklyn Strong

The New York-bred gelding, bought for just $5k earlier this year, edged out the 6/5 favorite Ten for Ten in Saturday’s Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct. Joel Rosario kept him settled and in the clear, waiting until his rivals began tiring in the far turn. One of the best closers in the game, Rosario’s timing was on the money as the Daniel Velazquez trainee won his second straight stakes, though the previous one came against fellow horses from the Empire State. Last year’s headliner on the Kentucky Derby trail was a New York-bred named Tiz the Law – do we have another one on our hands? 

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