At times, your head was spinning last weekend with all the excitement and big races from several different tracks in what seemed like a small window. Woodbine, Gulfstream, Belmont, Churchill Downs, and Los Alamitos gave us exiting racing to follow all week long. With so many great performances, picking just three top horses to acknowledge was tough. Here is who we thought most deserved recogni, along with a few honorable mentions as well.
Honorable Mention: Funtastic, Long On Value, Stormy Embrace, Instagrand, Santa Monica, Delta Prince, and Sir Truebadour
1. Wonder Gadot
Finally, she gets her day in the sun! Wonder Gadot had been so close on several occasions this year, including the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, where she finished second by a 1/2-length. After facing the best in her division all year long and coming so close to winning, she finally picked up a massive win in the $1 million Queen’s Plate on Saturday at Woodbine. After stalking the early pace in perfect position, Wonder Gadot made her move at the top of the stretch, and from that moment on, the race never looked in doubt. She stormed by the pace-setters and easily held off all closers to win the race by nearly 5 lengths. This much-deserved victory will give her the credit she deserves, and she will now most likely be heading to Saratoga, where she will get another shot to prove herself against the best horses in her division.
2. X Y Jet
This horse continues to amaze, and last Saturday, he added yet another graded stakes win to his resume as he took home the Grade 3 Smile Sprint at Gulfstream Park by a little over 2 lengths. The margin of victory felt like it could have been much larger, though, as the 6-year-old gelding was eased in the stretch after running away from his rivals early on. Like always, X Y Jet sped to the front right from the gate, and no horse could even get close to him throughout the entire race. Trainer Jorge Navarro knows he must take it easy with his star horse, as he has had three surgeries in the past, and with the ultimate goal being the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, he has mapped out a light race schedule for him. We might only see him one more time before November, but you can bet that he will have plenty to say once the big day comes at Churchill Downs.
3. Midnight Bisou
Monomoy Girl is the clear leader in the 3-year-old filly division, but she might have some major challengers to face this summer at Saratoga. Wonder Gadot looked impressive in the Queen’s Plate, but what about Midnight Bisou, who absolutely dominated her competition in the Grade 2 Mother Goose? This filly destroyed her competition, and did it while Mike Smith never asked her for much run. Under her first start for new trainer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bisou set closer to the pace than what we’ve seen from her in the past, and that strategy paid off well, as she zoomed past the pace-setting Road to Victory on her way to a 6-length win. The plan now is to aim for the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, where she will most likely get a rematch with Monomoy Girl.