Week of February 21, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

So far this weekend has brought some much needed insight as we inch closer to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, and there’s still more to come later on today! In addition to a Derby and Oaks prep weekend, it was a long distance weekend with the 3/8 mile Mac Diarmida and The Very One at Gulfstream Park and the 1 1/2 mile San Luis Obispo at Santa Anita.

Mucho Macho Man put his fourth in the Holy Bull Stakes (replay) behind him as he stepped up in the Risen Star Star stakes at Fair Grounds. Santiva and Rogue Romance weren’t too far behind with local buzz sensation, Machen, coming in fourth. Santiva and Rogue Romance both were making their 3-year-old debuts and both seem likely to move forward off their efforts. Machen didn’t disgrace himself but also didn’t light the world on fire. He too seems likely to improve next out.

Sprinting sensation The Factor did not disappoint in his 3-year-old debut as he brushed off an early duel with City Cool and Premiere Pegasus and held off a green but game Sway Away. The first pool of the Derby Future Wagers closed about an hour before the San Vicente. The field closed as the favorite at 2-1 with Uncle Mo not too far behind at 7-2. You can see all the final odds and will pays here.

On the Kentucky Oaks trail Kathmanblu continued to impressive with a relatively easy victory in the new renamed Rachel Alexandra Stakes. Canadian shipper Inglorious put in an eye-catching late run. Awesome Maria, a filly that showed promise for last year’s Kentucky Oaks as a juvenile, made a dominating 4-year-old debut in the Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream Park yesterday. She adds even more depth to the already interesting distaff division.

At Gulfstream Park Prince Will I Am continued his winning ways by kicking off his 4-year-old season with a win in the Mac Diarmida Handicap while Keertana sat a perfect stalking trip and exploded to take The Very One. In California Champ Pegasus and Bourbon Bay met for the third time in their careers. They each had a victory going into the San Luis Obispo at Santa Anita and this renewal of their rivalry went to Champ Pegasus by a whisker as they fought it out for an electrifying finish.

This week at the site we’ll take a look at the history of the Fountain of Youth Stakes in Ten Things You Should Know. We also started our Road to the Roses League and will have a post about that as well. In the meantime you can join using the following:

League Identifier: 3337801406
Activation Code: 2066491149

The Southwest Stakes will be run later today at Oaklawn Park, we’ll update the post with any replays should they become available. Keep track of the all Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks commentary at Raceday 360 Wire!

Last Week’s Races

Bind Maiden Replay
This weekend’s impressive maiden winner is from the barn of Al Stall Jr., trainer of Blame.

2011 Rachel Alexandra Stakes Replay
Kathmanblu makes it looks easy again.

2011 Sabin Stakes Replay
Awesome Maria gets back to her winning ways in her first start as a 4-year-old by sitting off the pace and opening up.

2011 Mac Diarmida Stakes Replay
Prince Will I Am steps up with powerful late kick.

2011 Risen Star Stakes Replay
Mucho Macho Man stalked the soft pace, pulling away from Santiva for the victory.

2011 The Very One Stakes Replay
Keertana showed a fierce turn of foot after stalking a dawdling pace.

2011 San Vicente Stakes Replay
The Factor puts away the field with an interesting late, but green, run from Sway Away.

2011 San Carlos Handicap Replay
Smiling Tiger overcame a slow break to get up just in time.

2011 Southwest Stakes Replay
Archarcharch emerges victorious from the scramble.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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