Saratoga Slim’s dad’s favorite horse Tax finally won again and appears ready for a big run in next month’s Pegasus World Cup (G1), but he wasn’t the only impressive winner on Gulfstream Park’s Saturday card. Here’s who we thought were the Three Stars of the Week:
Despite making just 2 starts all year heading into the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3), Tax was more than ready to handle what was thrown at him. Luis Saez never asked the Danny Gargan trainee for his best, keeping him squarely on the lead in his first start since finishing fifth in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) on May 2. This sets him up well for a return to the Pegasus, where he’ll try improving upon his ninth-place effort last year.
Stepping up to the graded stakes ranks for the first time, Largent made a powerfulf four-wide move off the turn, swept to the lead in mid-stretch, and kept everyone at bay to win the Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G2). The Todd Pletcher trainee has never finished outside of the exacta in 9 career starts and will head to the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) as a strong contender. In an odd series of events, all six runners who were double-digit odds in this race outfinished all four who were bet down to single digits.
Sometimes, it takes a second start before an equipment change makes its biggest impact on a horse. Such was the case with Letruska, whose second start without blinkers resulted in her easily wiring the Rampart Stakes (G3). Though she was mostly known as a Group 1 winner in Mexico (where she began her career), she has now won multiple graded stakes in America, and there’s something special about a horse who’s won 11 of her 15 career starts. Some horses just know how to get the job done.