The Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Kentucky Oaks (G1) highlighted a fantastic, four-day weekend full of amazing racing from coast to coast. We saw too many big efforts to count, but these horses rose to the top and made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won his record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby when Authentic sprang an 8/1 upset while doing what no other horse had done all year – hold off the freight-train charge from Tiz the Law. Authentic sat fast early fractions as Tiz the Law sat wide and within striking range, and turning for home, it looked like Tiz the Law was going to make his usual sweeping move to the front. Authentic re-broke when headed and kept the 4/5 favorite at bay. He is now looking toward the Preakness Stakes (G1) and already has his spot secured in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
In what looked like a two-horse race, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux teamed up with this filly to spring a 15/1 upset in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks. Gamine and Swiss Skydiver dueled early on and may have burned each other up enough to allow Shedaresthedevil to come flying by in the stretch. Her final time of 1:48.28 for the 1 1/8-mile route was a new record for the race, besting the 1:48.64 that Bird Town set in 2003.
3. Princess Noor
Baffert had himself a weekend. One day after Authentic won the Kentucky Derby, Princess Noor was an eye-popping winner of Sunday’s Del Mar Debutante S. (G1) at Del Mar. The effort came just 16 days after her maiden-breaking debut, and even more impressively, jockey Victor Espinoza has not had to ask her even once. She looks like an early top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).