The action continued to be strong at Saratoga and Del Mar last weekend. Del Mar held their biggest day of the meet with the running of the Pacific Classic (G1), while Saratoga gave us plenty to talk about in the Alabama Stakes (G1). Here are the three horses we thought performed the best when all was said and done:
1. Higher Power
The biggest event of the weekend was the Pacific Classic, so there is no doubt the winner of that race should be our first star. This year’s version of the race was not the strongest we’ve seen; however, Higher Power elevated his game to a new level with this victory, earning a 107 beyer speed figure. With jockey Flavien Prat aboard, Higher Power stalked the early pace setting Quip, before making his move on the turn. From there, he dominated his competition down the stretch, winning by a widening 5 1/4 lengths. The win earns him a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this November at Santa Anita Park.
2. Dunbar Road
The domination of Chad Brown continued last weekend with three more graded stakes victories. The biggest one of them all came in the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga, where Dunbar Road made her case for being the top 3-year-old filly in the country. Heavy rain came just before the race, making the track a sloppy mess, but Dunbar Road did not mind. After sitting behind horses for most of the race, jockey Jose Ortiz swung her out wide entering the turn. From there, the filly exploded down the lane, flying by Point of Honor and Street Band to win the race nearly 3 lengths in the end. A win like this stamps her as one of the main contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita this November.
3. Cambier Parc
Another big turf race, another big performance by a Chad Brown trained horse. This time, it was Cambier Parc who put her talents on display, shipping out west to Del Mar and taking home the Del Mar Oaks (G1). The filly sat mid-pack for most of the race, before swinging out wide entering the far turn. From there, she began to slowly cut into lead, while hitting another gear approaching the wire. Despite the wide trip, she was still able to win the race by 1 1/4 length, which shows that she was much the best in this spot. This is yet another Chad Brown turf star who seems to be developing nicely with each start.