Triple Bend Stakes 2023: Spirit Of Makena dominant winner

Fast horses were the order of the day at Santa Anita on Saturday, with the wildly progressive Spirit Of Makena maintaining his progress up the ladder with an impressive success in the G2 Triple Bend Stakes 2023. Half an hour earlier, turf speedball Fast Buck made his stakes breakthrough with a blitzing gate-to-wire score in the G3 Daytona.

Belmont Stakes Odds

Triple Bend Stakes

G2, $200,000, 7f dirt, 4yo+

Spirit continues to rise

It has been a very slow burn for Spirit Of Makena but we are seeing fireworks now, and he lit up Santa Anita on Saturday when coming home a dominant winner of the feature Triple Bend from CZ Rocket and Desmond Doss.

The five-year-old didn’t debut until August 2022 but on this display he could be among the leaders of the division. The 4-5 favourite sat behind front-runner Forbidden Kingdom until rolling past him at the top of the stretch and then drew right off, cruising to the wire three and a quarter lengths clear of veteran CZ Rocket, who nosed longshot Desmond Doss into the show spot.

Triple Bend Stakes Race Video

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Spirit of Makena wins the Triple Bend #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse #Horsesoftiktok

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“He overcame a lot of things when he was younger, had plenty of time off and really developed,” said jockey Joe Bravo. “He did it pretty nice today.”

The victory was the fourth from five starts for the son of Ghostzapper, and his second stakes score following the G3 San Carlos here in March. On this evidence trainer George Papaprodromou has a G1 horse in his barn, and it won’t be long before Spirit Of Makena gets his chance at the highest level.

Triple Bend Stakes 2023 Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Spirit Of Makena3.802.602.20
2. CZ Rocket 4.003.20
3. Desmond Doss  5.80

Winning time: 1m 23.07s

Daytona Stakes

G3, $100,000, 6 1/2f turf, 4yo+

Buck provides quick payoff

Fast by name, fast by nature. Fast Buck made his stakes breakthrough in the Daytona with a sizzling display of sustained speed, going coast-to-coast and seeing off the rallying favourite Whatmakessammyrun and Lovesick Blues.

The 2-1 second-choice was out of the gate on the ‘B’ of bang and opened right up under Hector Berrios, pushing six lengths clear at the half-mile call. The posse had his number in the stretch but Fast Buck had just enough gas in the tank to turn them back by a neck in a desperate finish, with a head between board horses Whatmakessammyrun and Lovesick Blues.

Daytona Stakes Race Video

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The G3 Daytona was taken by Fast Buck #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #sports

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“He was going fast out there, he made me nervous,” said trainer Cesar DeAlba, who was also signing for his first success at stakes level. “Hector said that when he saw the other horses, he really dug in.”

DeAlba also trains quarter-horses, and with an opening quarter of 21.05s Fast Buck was somewhere near that league. He’s five-for-nine now, and given that he is a late developer who only raced once before his fourth birthday, there should be more to come.

Daytona Stakes 2023 Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Fast Buck6.203.202.60
2. Whatmakessammyrun 2.802.40
3. Lovesick Blues  3.40

Winning time: 1m 11.68s

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