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Gulfstream Park closed out its annual Championship Meet with its usual flurry of superstars having fun in the Florida sun. When all was said and done, here’s who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
In what feels like deja vu from 4 years ago, trainer Todd Pletcher teamed up with owner/breeder St. Elias Stable to win Saturday’s Florida Derby (G1) with Known Agenda, a once-forgotten Curlin colt who looked lost in the winter but has now won back-to-back 1 1/8-mile dirt routes over the Gulfstream Park main track. The addition of blinkers in his past 2 starts seems to have made a massive difference in this horse’s ability. He’ll head to the Kentucky Derby (G1) hoping to replicate the success that Pletcher and St. Elias Stable enjoyed in 2017 when Always Dreaming romped in Hallandale Beach before winning the 2017 Run for the Roses.
Common sense dictates that most horses would be staggering home after racing around in a 1 3/8-mile race like Saturday’s Orchid Stakes (G3), but War Like Goddess isn’t most horses. The lightly-raced filly launched an ultra-impressive bid from well off the pace and caught the heavily-favored Always Shopping on the wire in a photo finish that you have to see to believe. Seriously, watch it. Right now. Look out for this filly as she wades into deeper waters at Belmont Park and Saratoga over the summer; we could have a new American threat for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
It took him 32 tries to get the job done in a stakes, but local hero Eye of a Jedi made a powerful move in the far turn and drew off impressively for his first career stakes score in Saturday’s Ghostzapper (G3). The 6-year-old gelding, purchased for just $1.5k as a yearling, has now earned over $355k for owner/trainer Steve Budhoo, who runs a small operation and works hard day and night for years just to have a moment like this. Expect him to continue running well over the Gulfstream oval all summer long.
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