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– 1st Star: Wicked Strong (KY) – The blinkers make the difference! After displaying a solid yet inconsistent late kick early in his career, Wicked Strong put on the blinkers for the Jim Dandy and was able to win on the front end of things. After steady early fractions he had plenty left in the tank to fend off Belmont winner Tonalist and win the Jim Dandy be almost three lengths. This race stamps him as a favorite for the Travers now, and also throws his name into the discussion of up and coming three year olds.
– 2nd Star: Coup de Grace (KY) – He was able to win a Grade 3 for the second time of his career when winning the Amsterdam on Saturday, and this time he did with new trainer Larry Jones. It can be argued that this was the best race of his career, so perhaps the change to Jones moved this horse up. The race perfectly sets him up for the King Bishop towards the end of the meet, which could be something he’s ready to tackle.
– 3rd Star: Competitive Edge (KY) – What a debut from this one! Competitive Edge drew in to what was being billed as a “loaded maiden race” but absolutely turned it into a laughing matter winning by almost eleven lengths. If Todd Pletcher has a better prospect than this in his barn I’d be shocked, because this one has all the signs of being a superstar horse. The Grade 1 Hopeful on closing day is where he will be pointed next.
– Aldrin (KY) – One million dollars…and almost a dead last finish…not what Chad Brown had in mind for a horse that he had highly touted. One race definitely doesn’t make or break your career, but this was no doubt a disappointing effort. He also had a slight stumble at the top of the stretch, so something could have went wrong physically as well. Either way, this was a disastrous start to his career.
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