Weekend Recap 5/3

American Pharoah wins the Kentucky Derby

American Pharoah lived up to his billing as the favorite as he took home the top honors on Saturday winning the Kentucky Derby. Sent off as the 5/2 favorite, American Pharoah ( Top Selection) got a good stalking spot in third early on as Dortmund went out to set the pace with mild pressure from Firing Line. They navigated the opening half mile in 47.34 seconds and were moving very nice as they went to the far turn. Firing Line turned up the pressure on Dortmund and American Pharoah came up and joined them three wide as the three of them lined up at the top of the lane. American Pharaoh and Victor Espinoza gradually wore down Firing Line though and in the final yards edged clear to win by a length. Firing Line was second and Dortmund held off Frosted ( 3rd Selection) to finish third.

In the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic it was Finnegan’s Wake ( 2nd Selection) who closed from last place to just get up in time for the biggest win of his career. Sent off at odds of 7/2, Finnegan’s Wake was last early on and had to fly to catch a loose on the lead Sky Captain in the final yards to win by a head. Sky Captain was disqualified for drifting late and placed fourth as Jack Milton ( Top Selection) was elevated up to second and Seek Again third. In the Churchill Downs Stakes it was Private Zone ( Top Selection) who galloped around the track in wire to wire fashion, winning clear by almost five lengths in the end. Private Zone got mild pressure from super long shot Nate’s Mineshaft early on but shrugged that rival off at the top of the lane and pulled clear to win with panache.

Tepin pulled a 9/1 upset win in the Churchill Downs Turf Mile Stakes, going wire to wire to get the win. He didn’t receive much pressure early on and was able to hold off a late run by Coffee Clique ( 2nd Selection) to get the win. Dame Dorothy was able to out-battle Judy the Beauty to win by a neck in the Humana Distaff. Judy The Beauty ( Top Selection) was making her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and should be fitter after this effort. In the American Turf Stakes it was Divisidero who absolutely flew down the stretch to close from 11th early on to win the race. A Lot ( 2nd Selection) grabbed the lead and looked home in mid-stretch, but Divisidero and Rafael Hernandez flew late to get the win by three quarters of a length. In the Pat Day Mile it was Competitive Edge ( 2nd Selection) who crushed his rivals, winning by four and a half lengths over 27/1 shot Pain and Misery ( Longshot) who got up for second and completed a $118 exacta.

Lovely Maria gives Larry Jones another Kentucky Oaks

Lovely Maria dominated her rivals on Friday as she scored the biggest win of her career, taking home the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks title. Sent off at odds of 6/1, Lovely Maria was fourth early on as Condo Commando set the early pace with mild pressure from Angela Renee. Lovely Maria and Kerwin Clark made their move on the turn and within a few strides into the stretch they started to kick away, opening up to win by almost three lengths. Long shot Shook Up finished in second with I’m a Chatterbox ( Top Selection) closing in to finish third.

In the Eight Belles Stakes it was Promise Me Silver ( Top Selection) who kept her sharp record intact, winning by a length and a quarter. Sent off at odds of 5/1, Promise Me Silver had to go wide but was able to get the lead in mid-stretch and hold off Callback ( 2nd Selection) who closed with style to get up for second. Power Alert went gate to wire to win the Twinspires Turf Sprint, holding off the late closing Undrafted ( 2nd Selection) to win by three quarters of a length.

The Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes saw a very nice stretch battle between Protonico and long shot Noble Bird ( Longshot) with Protonico prevailing to win by a head. Noble Bird finished up in second and they were well ahead of Neck N Neck who ran third. The Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes featured a memorable stretch battle with three horses across the track as they neared the wire. But it was Molly Morgan ( 3rd Selection) who got up over Sheer Drama ( 2nd Selection) to get the win. They finished just a head ahead of Gold Medal Dancer ( Top Selection) who ran third. Feathered ( 2nd Selection) went wire to wire to win the Edgewood Stakes, winning by an easy two lengths over Quality Rocks ( Top Selection) and Lady Zuzu ( 3rd Selection).

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