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Though the weekend’s lineup was devoid of any Grade 1 races or purses nearing seven figures, plenty of fun out west on the dirt and under the lights on turf highlighted the recent action. Here’s who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
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On a day when it seemed like every Santa Anita Park dirt runner went gate to wire, “The Cal-bred Who Could” made a strong rallying push in the stretch to get by not one, but two Tough Luck Bob 3-year-olds and win Sunday’s $100,000 Affirmed Stakes (G3). That was his second straight victory against open company following the Laz Barrera Stakes (G3) and proved that he’s much more than just a hero in the state-bred ranks.
Though his recent form left a lot to be desired, Brickyard Ride caught a flyer up front against a salty group of California-breds and wired Saturday’s Thor’s Echo Stakes at Santa Anita Park. After defeating open company rivals in March’s San Carlos Stakes (G2), he lost by a combined 24 3/4 lengths in his past 2 starts, but his impressive effort Saturday was enough to earn him a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure – the highest assigned to any horse over the weekend, as well as the only in triple digits.
Though no Grade 1 event took place this weekend, recent Grade 1 winner Juliet Foxtrot seemed like a lock in Saturday night’s Mint Julep Stakes (G3) under the Churchill Downs lights, but Mintd rallied hard over the lawn to upset the heavy favorite in stylish fashion. It was Mintd’s second straight win in as many starts this year. Trainer Brendan Walsh’s patient handling is paying off.
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