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The racing action could not have been any better last weekend. The inaugural running of the Saudi Cup gave us a performance to remember, but we also had great performances all day long at Gulfstream Park. Let’s take a look at who made our top 3 starts after all was said and done:
If you win the richest race ever run, then you deserve to be the number-one star of the week. Maximum Security officially put his Kentucky Derby (G1) disqualification aside last Saturday, taking home the $20,000,000 Saudi Cup with a determined, eventful stretch run. After stalking the pace throughout, Maximum Security was ridden hard through the far turn to stay with the pacesetting Mucho Gusto, who was under a hand ride. In the stretch, Mucho Gusto began drifting out, causing trouble for Maximum Security until jockey Luis Saez dove to the inside of Irad Ortiz, Jr., and Mucho Gusto. The horse dug in gamely to get past Mucho Gusto, then had just enough left to hold off a late charge from Midnight Bisou. With this victory, Maximum Security has easily secured his place as the best older horse in the country.
We’ve got a new Kentucky Derby Trail contender! Ete Indien turned the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) into a laugher last Saturday, strolling home to an 8 1/2-length romp. Jockey Florent Geroux rode the horse hard out of the gate, getting right to the lead while saving ground on the first turn. From there, the race was basically over, as no other horse even got close to him. Turning for home, nobody was making up any ground, and the heavily-favored Dennis’ Moment was being eased to last. This big-time victory moves Ete Indien up the ranking in a major way while also flattering Tiz the Law, who easily defeated Ete Indien in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3).
It’s a shame that this horse didn’t get the first star after a sensational performance in the Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2). Zulu Alpha was coming off of the biggest win of his career last time out in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), which he backed up in a big way on Saturday with a come-from-behind victory in impressive fashion. After dropping to the back of pack early, Zulu Alpha began effortlessly passing horses in the far turn while racing wide, then wore down Admission Office late for the win. With these two massive triumphs in his back pocket, he’s propelled his status to one of the best horses in training and potentially has a big year ahead.
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