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Three big-time stakes efforts dotted the landscape last weekend, with each winner finding success in different, yet still impressive, ways. Let’s take a look at who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
Owner Stonestreet Stables almost retired her at the end of 2019, but they opted to bring her back to eventually take a shot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). On Saturday, the Grade 1 winner showed off her talent with an impressive stretch-run explosion to win the Carousel Stakes. After closely stalking the early pace through the far turn, she shot to the front at the top of the stretch and drew off under only light encouragement. She looks like the best sprinting female horse in the nation right now and should have a big season if and when racing resumes in Kentucky and New York.
It takes a special horse to be able to battle along the inside and still come out on top, but that is what Long Weekend had to do in Saturday’s Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park. After breaking from the far outside post, Joe Talamo hustled Long Weekend to the front and sent him over to the rail, but Echo Town and the 4/5 favorite Eight Rings were quick to join him on the outside. At the top of the stretch, Eight Rings gave way, but Echo Town tried to take the lead. Long Weekend was all heart on the rail, though, and fought back gamely for the win. He now has 4 wins from 5 starts, including the Gazebo Stakes last time out, and looks like a top sprinter in this class.
It is hard to win when every other horse in the field is trying to stop you, but Dr Post fought through their efforts to win a hard-fought battle in the inaugural Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream Park. His five rivals kept him boxed in between and behind runners from the start, forcing jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., to swing out wide going into the far turn. He still had to wait for running room until near the top of the stretch, but once he bullied his way through the crowd, he was gone. Trainer Todd Pletcher seems to have a quickly-improving 3-year-old in his barn, and with the Kentucky Derby (G1) now postponed until September, he has time to bring him along and peak when it matters most.
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