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Parx hosted last weekend’s Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Cotillion Stakes (G1), with both producing major upset winners. Churchill Downs and Belmont Park also gave us solid racing as horses being to make their final preparations for the Breeders’ Cup. Let’s check out the three stars that stood out the most after an exciting weekend:
The Cotillion Stakes (G1) was supposed to be a head-to-head battle between Grade 1 winners Serengeti Empress and Guarana, but Street Band had other things on her mind. After several fillies engaged in a hot pace up front, the stalking Guarana made a strong move on the turn and looked to be home free. That was not the case, though, as Street Band came flying on the outside in mid-stretch. Nearing the wire, it became clear that Guarana was not going to be able to hold off Street Band, who cruised past for a 2 1/4-length triumph. The win was the first Grade 1 victory for both jockey Sophie Doyle and Street Band, who is now headed to the Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff (G1) .
Simply put, Covfefe did exactly what she was supposed to do last Saturday at Churchill Downs, winning the Dogwood Stakes in dominant fashion. This race, meant to be her final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), turned out exactly as intended. Covfefe stalked the pace right from the start, securing a solid position before pouring it on down the lane for an 8-length victory. She should have plenty left in the tank after this performance. Look for her to be one of the favorites on the first Saturday in November.
The key race for 3-year-old males on Saturday at Parx was the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), but the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) produced that division’s most impressive performance. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained King Jack shipped in from California for the race, cutting back to 6 furlongs after a loss to Improbable last time out in the Shared Belief Stakes. The cutback was definitely to his liking, as he was able to win by 1 1/2-lengths. Entering the stretch, the rest of the field was far behind the two-horse race consisting of Landeskog leading King Jack. For a brief second, it looked as though Landeskog could hold on for the win, but King Jack kept battling before passing him in deep stretch. He earned a 111 Beyer speed figure for his victory, which should put him in the mix for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
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