Week of January 24, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

Now that the 2010 Eclipse Awards are behind us, we can finally put last year to rest and look ahead to what 2011 has to offer. Judging by a few efforts this weekend, the future looks intriguing.

Perhaps most intriguing was Golden Rod winner Kathmanblu’s performance in the Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream. The connections of the Oaks hopeful chose to run her on turf because because it was the only two-turn option at Gulfstream. According to Jockey Julien Leparoux, she was struggling with the yielding surface, but was able to rally in what looked like an easy win. Her next stop is likely to be at Oaklawn or Fair Grounds. Another interesting Oaks prospect was Delta Princess winner Bouquet Booth, who made the Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds her third consecutive win.

On the Derby trail there’s been plenty of chatter about Soldat’s allowance romp in the slop. As a colt who’s previous good efforts have come over the turf it was no surprise to see him do well in the slop. His next stop looks to be the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on Feb 26. The Lecomte saw an exciting stretch duel between Pants on Fire and the eventual winner, Wilkinson to kick off the Fair Grounds derby prep season. Despite the moderate time and fractional splits, both colts put in an solid effort and showed a lot heart, something that they can build on moving forward.

Upcoming next week are the Sunshine Millions series at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita for horses bred in California and Florida. The Holy Bull and Forward Gal will also be run at Gulfstream Park. We’ll take a look at the Sunshine Millions series in the 2011 kick off of Ten Things You Should Know About! And if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to sign up for our Derby Prep Alert as an easy way to keep up with Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks prep races. Not sure why you’d want to do such a thing? Find out why here!

Last Week’s Races

Soldat Allowance at Gulfstream Replay
Grade 3 turf winner Soldat made short work of an interesting allowance level field in the slop at Gulfstream.

2011 Sweetest Chant Stakes Replay
Highly regarded Kentucky Oaks hopeful Kathmanblu made a strong showing on turf.

2011 Lecomte Stakes Replay
Wilkinson denies Pants on Fire in the final strides in an exciting rendition of the first Derby prep at Fair Grounds.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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