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Sunday might have been Father’s Day, but this past weekend’s racing action was all about the girls. Fillies and mares born and racing around the world stole the show even while competing against the boys, including one superstar who took her final career start while pregnant. Here’s who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
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What better way to end a brilliant racing career than defeating the boys one last time and going out on top? Despite a poor break, Oleksandra flew last to first and held off Raging Bull late to win Sunday’s Poker Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. Her effort in the stretch was reminiscent of her most recent victory, which also came against the boys at Belmont Park in last year’s Jaipur Stakes (G1). The Australian-bred mare is in foal to Into Mischief and is off to become a broodmare.
One of the highlights of last week’s Royal Ascot meet was when Love took the field gate to wire in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) to earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) later this fall. Though heavily favored to do so, she didn’t find victory easy, as she had to hold off a host of pursuers that featured the runner-up Audarya (last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf [G1] champion) as well as several males, including multiple Grade 1 winner Desert Encounter. While it’s no guarantee yet that Love will ship to Del Mar for the 2021 World Championships, American racing fans can only hope that she and Audarya both make the trip.
Speaking of the Breeders’ Cup, expect to see Bell’s the One point toward the Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) after she ran down the talented Sconsin late in Saturday’s Roxelana Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs. While her victory “only” came against her own sex, Bell’s the One came within 0.56 seconds of tying the 2001 track record for 7 furlongs on dirt under the famed Twin Spires. Following the race, trainer Neil Pessin said that he’ll use the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland later this year as her final prep for the World Championships as she seeks to improve upon her third-place outing in last year’s edition.
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