Horse Racing 3 Stars of the Week: Honoring a Legend

By | July 18, 2022

This week’s three stars of horse racing feature 2 remarkable performances from the week past. We also honor one of the most influential horses of recent vintage.

Honorary Mention- Bulldog Hanover (Harness)

Horse racing comes in many different disciplines. Thoroughbred racing often takes center stage because it is recognizable to the casual sports fan who tunes in for the Kentucky Derby once a year. However, there are several other disciplines beyond the flat racing that most people know.

Horse Racing Disciplines

Steeplechase which can be seen at the beginning of cards of Saratoga includes horses leaping over fences as they race.

Another discipline often mixed in with thoroughbred meets is quarter horses. In these events horses sprint an extremely short distance roughly the length of the stretch.

Finally, there is harness racing or standardbred racing. In these races the jockeys sit in carts behind the horses. Often these races are total products of pace.

The Meadowlands

Without question, one of the most popular harness tracks is the Meadowlands. The New Jersey track has a storied history and welcomes in much of the top standardbred talent in the country.

Bulldog Hanover

Bulldog Hanover and Dexter Dunn going in 1:45.4 | Lisa Photo

Bulldog Hanover has been a stud on the track. One week prior to his Saturday run the horse out up an impressive 1:46.1 at the mile distance. This was just one tenth of a second off of the world record of 1:46 flat. That record was shared by Always B Miki, Lather Up, and Bulldog Hanover. “Bulldog” earned the share of the record back on July 2nd.

William R. Haughton Memorial

On Saturday, July 16th the superstar cemented his place in the history books. He flew around the track in an astonishing 1:45.4. Bulldog Hanover is now officially the fastest mile pacer in the history of the game which dates back to the mid 1800s in the United States.

A replay of the race can be found at

Thirds Star- Chambeau (Colonial Downs)

Chambeau | Photo Credit Blood Horse

The horse racing industry features a number of niche tracks and meets. One such meet is the racing from Colonial Downs.

Colonial Downs

The Virginia thoroughbred track was closed for 6 years. In 2020 that changed and the track reopened characterized by a unique quirk. Most of their races are run over their 2 turf courses. The outer turf course remains the widest turf course in the United States of America.

Tyson Gilpin Stakes

The second race on the opening day card was a stakes race. The race featured 5 runners after scratches. The runners combined for 7 wins. Only one had yet to run a winning race. That runner was the #5 Chambeau. That is because the horse was making her debut. Even more uncommon was the fact that this runner was debuting at 5 years old.

A Late Bloomer

Many horses debut at 2 years old. Some wait until three. The most talented races are pulled from the track before they reach the age of 5. The push to get horses on the track can be difficult to avoid. Horses are expensive animals to keep and every day they are not running they are running up food and vet bills.

The fact that the connections held off and let the horse come along at her own pace is the kind of story this game needs. It truly shows horse men and women who are committed to doing what is right by the horse.

A Debut Winner

The horse started on the morning line at 10-1. By the time the gates opened she was down to 4-1. Clearly there was buzz that this horse was a runner. They broke the gate and the #5 quickly broke out for a contested lead.

The #4 Tea in China put up a good fight through the opening run up the short back stretch. By the time the horses entered the far turn Chambeau was clear and had tucked in on the rail.

The rest of the field would never close in from their. Chambeau continued to draw off as they exited the turn. In just 5 1/2 furlongs the debut runner was able to open up more than three lengths on her more experienced foes.

Chambeau paid $10.80 to win and should be a threat in listed stakes further down the line.

2nd Star- In Italian (Saratoga)

The first Grade 1 stakes of the Saratoga meet took place on Saturday. The Diana is a fitting start to a meet that garners so much attention for its turf racing. The mile and 1/8 race saw a small field of 6. The group was a talented field that included 4 runners from the Chad Brown barn.

Improving Form

In Italian was coming off a third place finish in the Grade 1 Just a Game stakes at Belmont Park. In that race she lost to the ultra impressive Regal Glory. Despite the final order of finish she had shown positive signs. She earned a 101 Equibase speed figure which matched a career top in that contest.

Diana Stakes

Diana Stakes | Video Credit NYRA

In Italian was largely ignored on the tote board in advance of the race. As the horses left the starting gate she was 8-1 and slotted as the 4th choice in the short field.

Quickly she established her place on the front end. With mild pressure she put up a fast sub 23 second opening quarter. Things didn’t get much better to the half mile pole where she continued to put up hot numbers posting the half in 47 and 4/5ths seconds.

Turning for home, the cavalry looked to be closing in, but she dug back in and rebroke to finish the race having never conceded the lead at any point. She stopped the clocked in 1:45.06. The number set the race record and is officially the fastest mile and 1/8th in the illustrious history of the Saratoga Race Course.

Equibase awarded her a 105 speed figure for the impressive performance.

1st Star- Kitten’s Joy (Legacy)

Kitten’s Joy

Great horses have an impact on the track. This week, the racing world lost so much more than. Kitten’s Joy passed away at his farm at the age of 21.

Prolific Turf Runner

The talent of Kitten’s Joy on the race track was undeniable. In his 14 race career he won 9 times. Seven of those victories came in graded stakes company at tracks up and down the eastern seaboard.

In the 5 races he didn’t win he failed to hit the exacta only once.

Turf Sire Superiority

When his racing career ended in 2006, it was no surprise that he was popular among breeder’s looking to find the next turf superstar. He delivered.

In 12 crops as a sire he produced over 100 stakes winner. In each of his last 7 years as a sire he was the #1 active leading turf sire.

Notable Progeny

Kitten’s Joy will be presence will be notably missed in the racing world. His progeny need little introduction, but include Grade 1 winners including Hawkbill, Stephanie Kitten, Saddler’s Joy, Oscar Performance, and Divisidero.

Kitten’s Joy is one of the sport’s true superstars.

Nominate Outstanding Performances

The new race week begins on Monday, July 18th and will run through Sunday, July 24th. If you would like to nominate a horse for one of the Betting News 3 stars of the week email [email protected] or reach out via twitter @T3handicapping.

The post Horse Racing 3 Stars of the Week: Honoring a Legend appeared first on Betting News.

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