3 Stars of the Week
– 1st Star: Fort Larned (KY) – I saw this horse put on a stellar performance live and in person at Prairie Meadows, but was still not a believer. Needless to say, I am now! This one is starting to look like the real deal, as he left the field in the dust at the top of the stretch in the Whitney, seizing a commanding lead that was just too much for the closers to overcome. His beyer came back extremely strong, and we know he defeated solid horses in Ron the Greek and Flat Out. The win makes him four for six this year, and he now has a Grade 1 in his back pocket. A win like this usually leads to the Breeders Cup Classic, and I see no reason why Fort Larned won’t be there as long as he’s healthy.
– 2nd Star: Ron the Greek (FL) – Even though he finished second, you had to be impressed by Ron the Greek’s performance. He had to close from WAY out of it, and had to come extremely wide at the top of the stretch. Watching the race live, I figured he’d finish off the board when I saw how wide he was. That was not the case, as he kept charging and came close to running down Fort Larned. At this point I’m starting to think Ron the Greek might be the best older male in training mainly because of his consistency. Even though he was the runner-up Saturday, he ran a winning race.
– 3rd Star: Poseidon’s Warrior (MD) – The longest shot on the board in Sunday’s Vanderbilt was Poseidon’s Warrior, but horses don’t care about odds! He had never won a graded stakes in his lifetime, but Poseidon’s Warrior ran his heart out just holding off Justin Phillip in the final strides to grab the victory. His beyer was a strong 102, and now he’s being pointed towards the Forego as his next race. The off going probably moved him forward, but he deserves the chance to prove me wrong again after that performance!
– Honorable Mention: Foritfy, Palace Malice, Dreaming of Julia, Emma’s Encore
Flop of the Week
– Shackleford (KY) – This one was a total no brainer. Shackleford finished last in Sunday’s Vanderbilt as the 6/5 favorite. He was never a threat, and was just hand ridden when it was obvious he wasn’t going to do much running. It was most likely the combination of the distance being a little short, and him not liking the wet track that did him in. I look for him to rebound strongly, and I still believe he’ll be a major factor in the Forego Stakes on closing weekend.
|Rank||Trainer Name||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Total $||Win%||Top3||Top3%|
|1||Todd A. Pletcher||66||16||11||9||$1,126,744||24%||36||55%|
|2||Chad C. Brown||39||13||9||5||$774,464||33%||27||69%|
|3||Steven M. Asmussen||31||6||8||2||$426,848||19%||16||52%|
|5||William I. Mott||40||5||8||5||$696,261||13%||18||45%|
|5||Rudy R. Rodriguez||30||5||5||2||$281,082||17%||12||40%|
|8||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||21||3||1||4||$678,241||14%||8||38%|
|8||Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.||25||3||5||4||$359,443||12%||12||48%|
|8||Claude R. McGaughey III||18||3||1||1||$272,810||17%||5||28%|
|8||Anthony W. Dutrow||16||3||4||3||$220,760||19%||10||63%|
|8||Albert M. Stall, Jr.||11||3||2||3||$186,076||27%||8||73%|
|Rank||Jockey Name||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Total $||Win%||Top3||Top3%|
|1||Ramon A. Dominguez||119||26||21||23||$2,009,481||22%||70||59%|
|6||Julien R. Leparoux||89||12||12||7||$952,864||13%||31||35%|
|6||John R. Velazquez||35||12||2||3||$797,120||34%||17||49%|
|10||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||83||5||11||8||$721,801||6%||24||29%|
|10||Wilmer A. Garcia||59||5||4||3||$305,747||8%||12||20%|
|12||Cornelio H. Velasquez||66||4||6||13||$388,076||6%||23||35%|
|12||Edgar S. Prado||52||4||6||3||$325,282||8%||13||25%|
Preview to Next Week
– The NYSS Cab Calloway Division Stakes – Wednesday – 3 year olds – 1 mile (turf) – $100,000
– The NYSS Statue of Liberty Division Stakes – Thursday – 3-year-old fillies – 1 mile (turf) – $100,000
– The National Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (Grade 2) – Friday – 3 year olds – 1 and 1/16th miles (turf) – $200,000
– The Fourstardave Handicap (Grade 2) – Saturday – 3 year olds and upward – 1 mile (turf) – $500,000
– The Adirondack Stakes (Grade 2) – Sunday – 2-year-old fillies – six and one half furlongs – $200,000
– The Saratoga Special (Grade 2) – Sunday – 2 year olds – six and one half furlongs – $200,000