Saratoga was the place to be last weekend. A very special Whitney was contested along with tons of other great stakes action. Here are our top 3 stars after all the action concluded:
It’s hard to believe that Hall of Fame and two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert had never won the Whitney Stakes (G1) before last Saturday. McKinzie changed that in dominating fashion. After stalking Preservationist up the backstretch, he took the lead heading for home, and while several different horses took shots at him down the stretch, McKinzie was able to turn them all back, winning with relative ease over a strong-closing Yoshida. His effort earned him a 111 Beyer speed figure and secured his spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. At this moment, he is the current favorite to win that race.
This year’s running of the Test Stakes (G1) featured the Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Serengeti Empress and the California star Bellafina, but it was Covfefe who stole the show, picking up the biggest win of her career. After stalking the early pace-setting Serengeti Empress, Covfefe drew alongside her rival when turning for home. From there, the two horses hopped well clear of the field while engaging in a tremendous stretch duel. Nearing the wire, Covfefe was able to just get past Serengeti Empress, winning by a 1/2-length. Her victory adds spice to a vastly-improving 3-year-old filly division.
The track records just continue to fall during this Saratoga meeting. The latest record went down last Saturday in the Troy Stakes (G3), where the upsetting Leinster flew past Disco Parter to win the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint in a final time of 1:00.23. The 4-year-old Majestic Warrior colt has now won three straight, all at this distance. This was the biggest win of his career and showed that he could become a major contender in the turf sprint division. The Breeders’ Cup could be in his sights after this victory.