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Gulfstream Park did not disappoint us last Saturday, giving us several performances to pick from when putting together our latest Three Stars of the Week. Nine graded stakes races highlighted the card, which ended up having major Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks implications. Let’s check out who made this week’s list of stars:
Talk about a BIG bounce back! Code of Honor could not have looked much worse when finishing off the board in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man Stakes; however, that is all behind him now. He came into the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) much more prepared and it showed. After sitting in mid-pack throughout the race, Code of Honor began to close into a very swift pace set by favorite Hidden Scroll, blowing by the front-runner with ease. Once getting the the lead, the colt by Noble Mission had just enough left in the tank to hold off a furious late run from Bourbon War to win the race by three-quarters of a length. Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said the Florida Derby (G1) is the next likely start for his horse.
This sprinter could be headed towards a big 2019 season. Recruiting Ready has always found himself on the lead, which looked to be his best weapon in this spot, but after a slow break, he was in third during the early stages of the race. This caused a few anxious moments for the heavy favorite, who had shown in the past that he needed the lead to be successful. However, he displayed a new dimension in this race, relaxing until being asked, then pouncing at the top of the stretch to win the Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (G3) by 3 1/4 lengths. The win shows that he has matured a bit, which will make him dangerous when we get into the tougher sprint events this season.
If you knock off the 2-Year-Old Filly of the Year while being an eye-popping 50-1, you deserve to be one of the Three Stars of the Week. That is exactly what Jeltrin did in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2), much to the surprise of the horse racing world. Jaywalk was considered to be a foregone conclusion to win the race; however, she came up empty at the top of the stretch, which made the race completely wide open. The pace-setting Cookie Dough looked to be home free in mid-stretch, but Jeltrin kept to task, getting by her in the last couple of jumps to win by a head. This win safely secures Jeltrin’s spot in the Kentucky Oaks.
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