What a weekend! Saturday provided us with non-stop racing action from coast to coast, with top class racing taking place at Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Golden Gate, and Oaklawn. It was extremely hard to pick just three stars to praise this week. After hours of thought, here are the three that we thought were worthy of recognition:
1. War of Will
There is no doubt he is for real after his romp in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes, which gives him three victories in a row. Despite his poor outside post, War of Will sat the perfect trip up the backside, sitting off the pace setter Gun It. Once Gun It spit the bit turning for home, War of Will took charge, and left the rest of the field in his dust for a 2 1/4 length triumph. This win means he is now a lock to make the 2019 Kentucky Derby. barring injury. His running style is exactly what you want for the first Saturday in May, with his early speed getting him into solid early position, and then still having the stamina and ability to finish strong. This could be trainer Mark Casse’s best chance to win the Kentucky Derby.
This may have been the most impressive win of the entire weekend. A lot of Southern California horses shipped north to take on Anothertwistafate in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate; however, they all ended up wasting their time. Like always, Anothertwistafate took control of the race early, setting nice and steady early fractions on the front end. Turning for home he absolutely put the field away with easy, pouring it on down the stretch to win the El Camino Real Derby by a widening 7-lengths. This type of win means he is a now a legit Kentucky Derby candidate, with plans pending on where to try him next. Tackling the dirt will be his biggest hurdle in the future, as all of his victories have come over the synthetic surface.
3. Serengeti Empress
The most inconsistent filly we have seen in quite sometime decided she was ready to roll on Saturday with an ultra-impressive win in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds. When she’s at her best she goes right to the front and never looks back, which is exactly what she did in this race. After leading the field up the back stretch by a length, she simply kicked clear of her rivals at the top of the stretch under only mild urging, cruising home to a 4 1/2 length victory. This is a filly that can be frustrating to bettors. At times she looks like one of the best in her division, while other times she looks pretty average at best. Past winners of this race have went on to have major success in the Kentucky Oaks. We will see if she can follow suit.