Saratoga and Del Mar came to an end over the long weekend, which signals a change in the racing season. For six weeks, we’ve focused on these two sensational meets, but now our attention will turn to the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. However, before we look forward, let’s check out who made our Three Stars of the Week after a stakes-filled weekend:
Apparently, the move from turf to the dirt isn’t all that hard. Back to back weeks at Saratoga have featured a turf horse moving to the dirt and winning a major Grade 1 race. Yoshida did just that on Saturday, closing with a furious rally to win the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes by multiple lengths. Yoshida and the favorite Gunnevera raced side-by-side down the back stretch, but when the real running began, it was easy to see that Yoshida was moving best of all. Even though this horse can be a beast on the turf, it looks like the current plan is to aim for the Breeders’ Cup Classic after this solid victory at Saratoga.
2. Dream Tree
Remember this horse? She’s back, and she looked better than ever last Sunday at Saratoga with a blowout win in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes. At one time, she was one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Oaks, but an injury forced her to miss several months of action. She returned to Saratoga off of that long layoff and was sent off as the co-favorite with Mia Mischief at 9/5. After stalking the early pace, Dream Tree cruised by Mia Mischief with ease and showed that she will be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the year. It is unclear yet whether trainer Bob Baffert will try stretching her out again, or if he will leave her sprinting and aim for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
3. Bound for Nowhere
Kentucky Downs was back in action last Saturday for the first of five days of racing in their short (but awesome) meet. The feature race of was the $750,000 Tourist Mile, which was captured by Bound for Nowhere. After stalking the pace for most of the way around the track, Bound for Nowhere took control at the top of the stretch and held on to win the race by a length. The win gives him 3 victories in 4 tries this season, with his lone loss being a solid third at the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting. In fact, this horse is undefeated when running in the United States.