If you got up early on Saturday morning, you were in for a full day of racing from Dubai to Florida. Here's your weekend stakes wrap-up!
$12 Million Dubai World Cup
The $12 Million Dubai World Cup was a bit of a nail biter from the start. With all horses breaking well, NORTH AMERICA went straight to the front with SOUMILLON and THUNDER SNOW stalking. THUNDER SNOW went two wide at the first turn. GRONKOWSKI raced three wide and went by the pair going into the first turn. SOUMILLON and THUNDER SNOW continued to draft the front runners into the second turn. NORTH AMERICA faded and GRONKOWSKI moved in to take the lead, but THUNDER SNOW wasn't going down without a fight. The pair dueled all the way to the finish line with THUNDER SNOW coming ahead by a nose in a duel that will long be remembered.
THUNDER SNOW has come a long way since his Kentucky Derby bucking spree from the starting gates as a three-year-old. He has now put his name down in the history book as the only two-time winner of the Dubai World Cup. GRONKOWSKI put in a fantastic performance to the end coming up second and GUNNEVERA, who has never won a Grade 1 start, but is almost always in contention finished third.
$1 Million Florida Derby
MAXIMUM SECURITY cruised with a short lead ahead of BODEXPRESS, posting easy going fractions of :24.42, :48.98 and 1:12.90. At the eight pole, he expanded that lead by three lengths and none of the closers were able to catch him. The final time for the race was 1:48.86. The win earned MAXIMUM SECURITY 100 points on the Road to the Derby, securing the colt a spot in the starting gates.
The win was definitely unexpected considering the homebred colt had made his racing debut in a $16,000 claiming race, where he finished 9 3/4 lengths ahead to win. Fresh off a second place maiden finish, BODEXPRESS finished the Florida Derby in second at 71-1 odds. The colt earned 40 points towards the Kentucky Derby.
Behind the pair was CODE OF HONOR, the winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes and BOURBON WAR, finished third. BOURBON WAR didn't go down without a fight in the Florida Derby though. The colt made his move but didn't have the kick to get to the front. He picked up 10 more points though putting him in 15th on the leaderboard for the Kentucky Derby.
This was another disappointing start for HIDDEN SCROLL, however. The colt had won his maiden start by 14 lengths but placed fourth in the Fountain of Youth. While he stalked MAXIMUM SECURITY, the colt lost steam, finishing sixth at 9-5.
$300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2)
The six-horse field broke cleanly with ALL GOLDEN going straight to the lead trailed by GUY CABALLERO on the outside and PRINCE LUCKY pressing on the inside. At the turn, PRINCE LUCKY and ALL GOLDEN ran neck and neck with a 1/4 mile time of :24.14 and a half at :47.04. PRINCE LUCKY prevailed though as the ALL GOLDEN lost a lot of steam dropping to the back of the field. TALE OF SILENCE saved ground early and midway into the turn came clear for the straightaway but drifted and didn't have the power to close the gap on PRINCE LUCKY. PRINCE LUCKY spread out the distance by four and three-quarters lengths as TALE OF SILENCE and GUY CABALLERO finished five lengths apart. The final time was 1:35.21.
$250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2)
The Gulfstream Park Oaks is 1 1/16 miles on the dirt for three-year-old fillies. The seven-horse field broke with a slight bump between CHAMPAGNE ANYONE and DUNBAR ROAD. COOKIE DOUGH headed for the lead on the rail, trailed by CHAMPAGNE ANYONE and DUNBAR ROAD. Into the first turn, COOKIE DOUGH stayed a length ahead of CHAMPAGNE ANYONE setting the 1/4 mile in :23.80. COOKIE DOUGH continued to build distance, but CHAMPAGNE ANYONE stalked steadily behind followed by DUNBAR ROAD another length back. Around the second turn, CHAMPAGNE ANYONE pressured the front runner, but COOKIE DOUGH held on. Two wide in the stretch the pair dueled with CHAMPAGNE ANYONE pushing ahead and DUNBAR ROAD making a move on the outside. COOKIE DOUGH fell back for third while DUNBAR ROAD prevailed for second place.