There were a slew of stakes races across the country this weekend from Santa Anita to Aqueduct and several points in between.
We had great racing all around the world this weekend with the Saudi Cup overseas and the Fountain of Youth Stakes this weekend at Gulfstream. Here's your weekend stakes update!
$20 Million Saudi Cup
MAXIMUM SECURITY ran just off the pace behind MUCHO GUSTO. Coming off the turn, the pair separated from the field and dueled down the stretch. MAXIMUM SECURITY moved to the inside and kicked to the lead for the win. MIDNIGHT BISOU made a triumphant move to get in on the action and finished second. MUCHO GUSTO faded and BENBATL came up to finish third followed by MUCH GUSTO in fourth.
It was an exciting win for MAXIMUM SECURITY, who seems to finally have overcome the stigma from the Kentucky Derby and managed to prove himself this time around. The 5-year-old mare, MIDNIGHT BISOU, also ran a fantastic race and could very well be on her way to an Eclipse Award.
However, in the days following the race, a bit of controversy has arisen for the jockeys. Mike Smith has been fined more than $200,000 and was given an eight-day suspension for using the whip 14 times when the permitted number is 10. He was also given an additional day suspension for using the whip with no regard for the horse's stride. Earlier in the evening, Smith forgot to weigh in after an undercard race and was given two additional days of suspension. Overall, he forfeited 60% of his earnings. Irad Ortiz Jr. was also suspended for eight days and a fine for too much whip.
$400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream
ETE INDIAN broke well and went to the lead on the rail. The colt posted fractions of :23.58 and :46.72. At the mile, he opened up his lead and took his first stakes win by eight and a half lengths. CANDY TYCOON, the longshot, followed him in second and AS SEEN ON TV finished third. DENNIS' MOMENT, the favorite, raced midpack and faded at the second turn. He finished last in the field. Flavien Prat told trainer Dale Romans that he had plenty of horse, but that he dropped the bit at the five-eighths pole. The future for DENNIS' MOMENT is unclear as the team goes back to the drawing board.
ETE INDIAN earned 50 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Derby. CANDY TYCOON earned 20 and AS SEEN ON TV earned 10.
$150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park
VITALOGY, the 99-1 longshot, settled in third as ALLGORILLA set the pace with fractions of :24.63 and :48.15. VITALOGY tipped to the outside and got ready for the stretch as the field made the turn. VITALOGY completed the distance on a firm turf in 1:41.86 to take the win. TIESTO finished second followed by SOUTH BEND.
$300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2)
BODEXPRESS set the pace with fractions of :23.27 and :45.32 in company with MR FREEZE. Pushing the leader, BODEXPRESS started to falter and MR FREEZE took the lead. Keeping steady, he held off a late rally by PHAT MAN and took the win by three lengths at the wire. PHAT MAN finished second followed by HOG CREEK HUSTLE in third. The win was the biggest of his career, pushing his earnings to $1.3 million.
$200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park
TONALIST'S SHAPE hustled to the lead and was determined to keep it and earn her 50 points to the Kentucky Oaks in May. She kept the edge down the backstretch despite being pressured by SPICE IS NICE. She set an opening quarter-mile of :23.84 and picked things up to set a :46.93 half mile. SPICE IS NICE kept close, but at the eighth pole, TONALIST'S SHAPE spurted clear to open up the lead. SPICE IS NICE couldn't keep up and took second, followed by DREAM MARIE.
TONALIST'S SHAPE kept her perfect 5 for 5 record and picked up her Oaks points. SPICE IS NICE earned 20 points towards the Oaks and DREAM MARIE earned 10. RELUCTANT BRIDE picked up 5 points.
$100,000 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park
SMASH FACTOR set the pace with fractions of :23.14 and :46.66. OURNATIONONPARADE pressed on behind. At the top of the stretch, it was SMASH FACTOR leading the way with OURNATIONONPARADE and SHIVAREE in pursuit. WITH VERVE, the 18-1 longshot, made a move to move around the pack and made a wide drive, pulling out the victory by a neck. SHIVAREE finished second a neck ahead of OURNATIONONPARADE.