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The long Thanksgiving Weekend of racing gave us plenty to be excited about, with Churchill Downs, Aqueduct, and Del Mar all featuring fantastic racing. It was tough to narrow it down to just three horses after all the action was over. Here are the three horses that stood out the most after the week came to a close:
The Clark Stakes (G1) is always a staple of Thanksgiving Weekend every year. This year, it gave us the best performance of the weekend as well, with Tom’s d’Etat rapidly developing into a star. He came into the Clark hot, winning the Fayette Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, but he seemed to raise his game to another level in this spot. After sitting in sixth up the backside, he made a solid move on the turn, getting himself into position. From there, he powered home under little urging, winning the race by 3 1/4-lengths. This is the type of victory that could springboard him into a race like the Pegasus World Cup (G1) for his next start.
The theme of the weekend seemed to be horses on the improve, with Performer being towards the top of the list. He came into the Discovery Handicap (G3) on a three-race winning streak; however, this was his first start against stakes company. That proved to be no problem, though, as he made short work of the field for a 1 1/4-length triumph. He was able to sit a perfect trip, stalking the early pace the entire way around, before tipping out in the stretch for the victory. He will be a horse that should contend several of the major stakes races in New York as a 4-year-old.
This horse has become a force on the turf, winning three straight races including the biggest win of his career last weekend at Del Mar. That triumph came in the Hollywood Derby (G1), where he was able to hold off all challengers in the stretch for a 3/4-length win. After stalking the pacesetting Neptune’s Storm, he was able to kick clear before gamely holding off big runs from Standard Deviation and Digital Age. There is no doubt that he’ll be around to contend in several of the big turf races in California for the rest of the year and next season.
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