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The action really started to pick up this weekend with great racing at Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream Park, and Remington Park, with the latter featuring the final Kentucky Derby points race of 2018: the $400,000 Springboard Mile. In Florida, great racing on both the turf and dirt ensured plenty of drama. When all the dust settled, these were the horses that made our Three Stars of the Week:
This was just a ridiculous performance! Without question, World of Trouble was easily the horse to beat in Saturday’s $125,000 Marion County Florida Sire Stakes, going off as the 1/9 favorite. After springing to the early lead, he simply buried his competition with absolute ease, winning by 13 3/4 lengths under a hand ride and earning a 109 Beyer speed figure for the victory. He can run tremendously fast on both the turf and the dirt, and this type of win sets him up for a monster 2019. He can run in just about any sprint out there.
He did it again! Glorious Empire became famous over the summer at Saratoga with wire-to-wire wins in big-time graded stakes races, including the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes to close out the meet. On Saturday, he showed up in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes and looked to get back on track after a poor Breeders’ Cup Turf effort. Like usual, he wasted little time getting to the front while being unhurried up the backside. Turning for home, he began to widen the lead rather easily, which signaled to everyone watching that he wouldn’t be caught. In the end, his final margin of victory was 2 1/2 lengths, but he was never threatened or asked for his best the entire way around the track. He’ll have a shot in any race where he is not pressured up front.
Welcome to the Kentucky Derby Trail, Long Range Toddy! Sunday’s $400,000 Springboard Mile served as the last 2018 Kentucky Derby Prep race, with Long Range Toddy coming out the winner by a 1/2-length. The son of Take Charge Indy stalked the early pace behind a wall of horses before getting room at the top of the stretch to make his move. Once clear, he quickly sprung to the front, then held off his stablemate, Bankit, late to win the race. This win should catapult him to the big races at Oaklawn during the winter, where his owner (Willis Horton) and trainer (Steve Asmussen) seem loaded for the upcoming meet. This could be a serious Kentucky Derby contender.
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