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It was a relatively quiet week for racing, but there were still three very worthy horses to make up the Three Stars of the Week. Gulfstream Park hosted its Sunshine Millions card, while Tampa Bay, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, and Oaklawn Park also provided quality racing throughout the weekend. Let’s see who made this week’s list after all of the action unfolded:
The story of X Y Jet just keeps getting better and seems to be far from over after the gray gelding by Kantharos crushed his opponents by 5 1/2 lengths in the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes. Like always, X Y Jet went straight to the front from his rail post position and never looked back. No horse even came near him. The win gives him two in a row after a layoff of over a year and will most likely propel him to another start in Dubai as he targets the Group 1 Golden Shaheen. He finished second in the race in 2016, and if his form continues to hold like this, then he could be ready to go back and win the race this year. It’s nice having a horse of this caliber back and running very well.
Saturday’s $125,000 Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs was highlighted by the return of the Tremont Stakes winner He Hate Me, but World of Trouble absolutely stole the show, crushing the field by nearly 14 lengths. After setting the early pace, World of Trouble was in front by about 2 lengths when entering the turn, with He Hate Me beginning to make a move. However, that move was short-lived, as World of Trouble opened up on the field quickly, then kept pouring it on down the lane. The win probably earned him a spot in the Sam F. Davis next, which is a Kentucky Derby prep race. The waters will get deeper from here on out, but this colt proved that he will be dangerous with his early speed. He looks to be a much-improved horse compared to his 2-year-old form.
The $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes was probably the most exciting race of the weekend. Amy’s Challenge and Mia Mischief went toe-to-toe throughout the race, which ended with a head-bobbing finish at the end. Amy’s Challenge stumbled just a bit out of the gate, allowing Mia Mischief to get to the front, but Amy’s Challenge quickly recovered and put the pressure on her early. The race was on entering the stretch as both fillies battled, but in the end, Amy’s Challenge just barely edged out Mia Mischief. The race was very similar to her last start, against the boys at Canterbury, where she edged out Mr. Jagermeister to win the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. With this win, she is now a perfect three-for-three and will most likely get her shot at a Kentucky Oaks prep race at Oaklawn Park in her next start.
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