Stakes action returned around the continent last weekend, with racing starting to heat back up following the Breeders’ Cup lull. We saw several solid performances worth recognition and we have plenty to look forward to on this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Before we look ahead to that, here are the top three starts from last week:
1. Sadler’s Joy
It had been 20 months since this classy horse had found the winner’s circle, but that all changed with a victory last Saturday at Aqueduct in the Red Smith Stakes (G3). Sadler’s Joy took a significant drop in class for the race, which led to him being heavily-backed at the windows. As always, he sat towards the back of the field before making his move in the turn. From there, he cruised on the outside down the lane, winning by a strong 2 lengths. He is likely headed to Dubai for one final start before retiring to stand stud.
2. Pink Lloyd
One of the our favorite horses was back to his winning ways Saturday evening at Woodbine. Pink Lloyd was back in action at the Canadian race track, this time taking home the Kennedy Road Stakes (G2) by 1 1/4 lengths. After running in last down the backstretch, the superstar begin to make a huge move on the turn, then blew by his competition with confidence and ease in the stretch. Every Pink Lloyd win is special, but this one was even moreso because jockey Eurico Da Silva was riding him for the last time. The successful rider will be retiring at the end of this season.
Scratched down to a field of only four horses, this year’s Native Diver Stakes (G3) at Del Mar looked to leave a lot to be desired on paper. However, the John Shirreffs-trained Midcourt gave us a memorable performance, winning the race by 5 3/4 lengths in wire to wire fashion. The event served as his graded stakes debut, which makes the victory that much more impressive. Once he got loose on the lead, you could tell he would be difficult to catch. His 99 Beyer speed figure suggests that he could be a horse to watch as we move into 2020.