Weather was a major story on the East Coast last weekend as heavy rains washed many of the turf races off of the grass. On Whitney Stakes Day at Saratoga two grass stakes were even cancelled and moved to this coming weekend as the rain was just too much for the turf course to handle. However, at Del Mar is was beautiful and sunny, just like always. Both tracks produced several great moments this weekend. Here are the Three Stars of the Week after all was said and done:
In a horse racing a common term used by many in the industry is “catching a flyer.” Instead of me explaining what that is, all you need to do is watch the replay below of the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes. Keep your eyes locked on the #6 Diversify as the horses leave the gate. THAT is the definition of “catching a flyer” in it’s truest form. Diversify turned the Whitney Stakes into a total laugher as he shot to the front and never looked back. When this beast is at his best he is a total throw back type of horse. He goes to the front, and goes faster than he probably needs to early in the race, but while doing so he simply runs his rivals off their feet as none of them can keep up with him. His current form is absolutely outstanding, and if he can keep it up there is no doubt he can become the top older horse in the country. This New York bred just keeps getting more and more impressive.
There is no place like home, and Cambodia is certainly right at home at Del Mar. She is now three for four where the surf meets the turf, and Saturday’s Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap may have been one of the most impressive wins of her career. After sitting a bit off the pace the entire way around the track, she kicked it into gear running down the stretch, and simply ran away from the field to win by multiple lengths. Even on the gallop out it was clear she was much the best in the race as she kept going strongly, and was hard for jockey Drayden Van Dyke to pull up. Cambodia has challenged top flight company before, and could be ready to do it again after this powerful victory.
It’s safe to say this filly is back in excellent form, and wow does she love Saratoga! Last year Seperationofpowers was one of the most impressive maiden special weight winners of the meet. This year was even better, as she showed up on Saturday with a huge effort to take the Grade 1 Test Stakes. After sitting off the lead for much of the race, she burst to the lead on the turn, but front running Mia Mischief would not make it easy on her. The two filly’s battled down the entire stretch with Seperationofpowers edging clear in the final stages. With this strong effort Seperationofpowers is likely Breeders’ Cup bound, as that type of performance can win a race like the Filly and Mare Sprint. Brown has several options when planning her route to the big day in November.