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Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Oaklawn’s Return Trumps All
Mystic Guide (Credit: Coady Photography)

Racing Dudes Three Stars of the Week: Oaklawn’s Return Trumps All

The tremendous racing action three weeks in the making was held on an Oaklawn Park track that was sloppier than a highway diner’s chili special, but that didn’t stop the stars from shining brightest over the Hot Springs community. Here’s who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:

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1. Mystic Guide

The outside was the place to be at Oaklawn Park this past weekend, and perhaps Mystic Guide benefitted from that as much as anyone. Jockey Luis Saez’s decision to keep the Ghostzapper colt away from any trouble or much kickback was a key reason Mystic Guide was a monstrous winner of Saturday’s Razorback Handicap (G3). Early reports are that he will head overseas for the Dubai World Cup (G1) next, and that makes sense: Godolphin is the horse racing stable owned by the Al Maktoum family, which rules Dubai itself.

2. Monomoy Girl

The two-time and defending Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) champion made a splashy seasonal debut in Sunday’s Bayakoa Stakes (G3), running wide and in the clear from start to finish while never being asked for her best. This was merely a sharpener to get her ready for the Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park later in the spring.

3. Essential Quality

Not to be outdone, last year’s champion juvenile male officially returned for his 2021 appearance in the Southwest Stakes (G3), a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race that he turned into a laugher. While the field he beat is suspect, at least the Cox trainee never looked like he got out of first gear. He had been working well with Monomoy Girl heading into the Southwest; looks like they kept each other in fighting shape.

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