Multiple Grade 1 events at both Del Mar and Saratoga meant that we were lucky enough to see some of the best horses in training strut their stuff, but when the dust settled, a future Hall of Famer rose to the top. Who was it? Check out our latest Three Stars of the Week:
1. Rushing Fall
Sunday’s feature race across the country, the Diana Stakes (G1), pitted Rushing Fall (runner-up in last year’s running) against her stablemate and two-time defending champion Sistercharlie. That matchup never materialized because Sistercharlie couldn’t keep up, but Rushing Fall ran hard to defeat a loose-on-the-lead Mean Mary for her The “Turf Rocket” has turned into one of the most accomplished horses in racing history and is just the second horse (joining Beholder) to ever win at least one American Grade 1 at ages 2, 3, 4, and 5. Whenever the time comes, she’ll be a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
2. Maximum Security
The star-crossed colt left no doubt about his supremacy in the west coast dirt route division after looking much improved in Saturday’s Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. While the rest of the field (and frankly, that division) left something to be desired from a showdown standpoint, Maximum Security proved that he can continue to win Grade 1 races for new trainer Bob Baffert. Expect him to make a final start as he prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), where there’s a spot in the entry gate with his name on it thanks to his Saturday score.
How many baseball references did Magic put into this recap? Regardless, Halladay was the latest example of why the time-honored handicapping angle that lone speed on turf can be deadly. Given an easy early lead in Saturday’s Fourstardave Handicap (G1), he had more than enough energy left at the top of the stretch to hold off the defending champion Got Stormy and punch his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). What happens when he faces pace pressure at the top level is a question for another day.