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This time next week, we will all be talking about Del Mar and Saratoga, but until then, let’s turn our attention to Delaware Park and Indiana Grand. While those tracks will never match up to the previously mentioned venues, they did provide us with excellent racing last week that could directly impact some of the bigger races this summer. Let’s take a look at this week’s stars:
The big filly is back with a huge year in mind after a dominating win in the Grade 2 Delaware Park Handicap. Elate was starting off of an eight-month layoff in this race, which seemed like it would be challenging at the mile and 1/4 distance, but it clearly didn’t bother her one bit. This type of performance has her set up for huge things and makes her a major player in the older female division that is becoming tougher by the day. The Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga is the next goal for Elate, as trainer Bill Mott will continue his star filly down the road to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at the end of the year at Churchill Downs.
Add another California horse to the list of shippers that have gone east and won a Derby. It seems like it happens every week, and Axelrod was the latest horse to do it after he captured the Grade 3 Indiana Derby by a narrow margin over Trigger Warning. After dropping towards the middle of the pack early, the west coast invader patiently waited before making a move to get into position at the top of the stretch. With 100 yards to go, it looked as though he might have to settle for second behind Trigger Warning, but he made up massive lengths late to run him down right at the wire. This win opens up a lot of options for a colt that seems to be improving with every race.
Can the 3-year-old filly division get any better? It seems as though every week, someone from this division jumps up with a great performance, and last Saturday was no different. Talk Veuve to Me destroyed the field in the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks. In her last two starts, Talk Veuve to Me had been beaten by top quality horses such as Mia Mischief and Monomoy Girl, so it was no surprise that this drop in class was all she needed to get back into the winner’s circle. She most likely earned another shot at the best horses in the crop after this win, as she is a filly that is on the improve with each race.
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