The Kentucky Derby was flipped upside down during the holiday weekend, with Oaklawn Park and Fair Grounds yielding wild results. Also, a potential superstar filly took her first steps towards the Kentucky Oaks on the first Friday in May. Read all about our Three Stars of the Week:
Honorable Mention: Justify – Perhaps the best horse to run all weekend! His freakish maiden performance puts him on the Kentucky Derby trail. Too bad there’s no replay of his race available on YouTube.
Long live the Coach! No trainer has had more success in the Triple Crown races than D. Wayne Lukas, and on Saturday, his Awesome Again colt earned his way into the Kentucky Derby starting gate with a narrow nose victory in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes. Bravazo contested the early pace set by Snapper Sinclair, and those two horses battled the entire length of the stretch in a head-bobbing duel. Both colts look like prime Kentucky Derby contenders and are likely to move on to the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby for their next start.
2. Monomoy Girl
The Kentucky Oaks trail had been a bit quiet leading up to the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, but Monomoy Girl changed all that with a loud performance on Saturday. Usually a speed horse, Monomoy Girl broke poorly in the race and found herself dead-last up the backside. However, she zoomed past horses with relative ease once asked to run, then dominated the field to win going away. Trainer Brad Cox has a serious filly on his hands going forward and could be looking at his first Grade 1 win as a trainer with this talented runner.
3. My Boy Jack
Follow the Yellow Brick Rail! There was no doubt that the Oaklawn Park rail bias was strong on Monday, and credit jockey Kent Desourmeaux for taking advantage of it when My Boy Jack won the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. While several of the main contenders were making moves on the outside, My Boy Jack cruised up from his inside post and never left his position as he stormed home. The win was his first on the dirt and flatters the likes of McKinzie, who defeated My Boy Jack with ease in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in January. My Boy Jack is in the hunt for the Kentucky Derby, but now he must prove that he can be as effective when the track is fast.