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The masked hero we all need emerged Saturday night under the Fair Grounds lights, but he wasn’t the only superhero-esque performance from party night in the Big Easy. Grab a paczki, earn some new beads, and take a look at our latest Three Stars of the Week:
With a Champion 2-Year-Old and a Smarty Jones Stakes winner in his barn, trainer Brad Cox already held a strong hand on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, but Mandaloun added his name to the list with a strong victory in the Risen Star Stakes (G2). Cox proved his prowess with making equipment adjustments by adding blinkers to Mandaloun after his disappointing third in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) last time out. The top three finishers from the Lecomte also completed the Risen Star trifecta (albeit in a different order); they could continue their fun rivalry in next month’s Louisiana Derby (G2).
If there’s a horse racing God, then Maxfield will remain healthy all year long. He’s now undefeated through 5 starts after dominating his competition in Saturday’s Mineshaft Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds. The older male dirt handicap division suffered several retirements after the Breeders’ Cup, but he could have a Horse of the Year campaign if he stays healthy.
For the past several years, the road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) has gone through Fair Grounds, which has produced five of the past nine winners of the marquee event for 3-year-old fillies. Clairiere stamped her status as a major contender with a gutsy late-surging score in Saturday’s Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds. Not only did she impress visually, but she dispatched of the heavily-favored Travel Column, herself considered a top Oaks threat. Much like the boys’ equivalent in the Risen Star, the top finishers here will hopefully continue their rivalry after this; Travel Column previously beat Clairiere in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2).
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