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Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Derby, Oaks Preps Take Center Stage
Risk Taking (Credit: NYRA / Janet Garaguso)

Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Derby, Oaks Preps Take Center Stage

Potential contenders for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Kentucky Oaks (G1) took center stage in three separate states this weekend, giving us a glimpse at who may be among the top betting choices 3 months from now.

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

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1. Risk Taking

Despite starting the racing season slower than usual, trainer Chad Brown has officially made his mark on the Kentucky Derby trail with Risk Taking, who rallied from well off the pace to win Saturday’s Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. While most of the best early 3-year-olds are flashy, early speed types, this son of Medaglia d’Oro has shown that distance, routing, and passing other horses are no problems. Considering this was his first start since breaking his maiden, his future looks bright.

2. Moonlight d’Oro

Similar to Risk Taking’s path to victory on the east coast, Moonlight d’Oro circled her four rivals in the far turn and drew off to a superb victory in Saturday’s Las Virgenes Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park. The Richard Mandella trainee has now won both route attempts and seems like an early standout among the west coast’s Kentucky Oaks contenders, especially as the distances get longer.

3. Candy Man Rocket

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has seemingly been on fire anywhere he goes, especially when his go-to jockey Junior Alvarado rides, and they extended that pattern to Tampa Bay Downs Saturday when Alvarado piloted Candy Man Rocket to victory in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). Not only that, but Mott’s other entry, Nova Rags, finished second to give Mott the barn exacta. The 2019 Derby-winning trainer looks poised to make another run for the roses this year.

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