Welcome to “The Weekend Accolades,” a weekly series in which we’ll look back on the previous week of racing and hand out a few informal awards to horses, trainers, jockeys, etc. that achieved notable feats in racing. Enjoy!
Upset of the Week: Calamity Kate in the Delaware Oaks
Coming off of consecutive victories in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Lovely Maria was fully expected to win the Delaware Oaks (gr. III) in easy fashion, and was sent off as the 3-10 favorite to do so. But after settling in fifth behind respectable fractions, Lovely Maria had no finishing punch for the homestretch and didn’t improve her position. In the meantime, 54.40-1 longshot Calamity Kate–the longest shot in the eight-horse field!–opened up a commanding 2 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch and stayed on strongly to cross the wire in front by 1 3/4 lengths. As a result of her shocking upset–and the fact that Lovely Maria didn’t hit the board–Calamity Kate paid $110.80 to win, $20.80 to place, and $79.40 to show. Wow!
Veteran of the Week: Tightend Touchdown
Coming into Saturday’s Parx Dash Handicap (gr. III) at Parx Racing, the six-year-old Tightend Touchdown seemed to be nearing the end of his career. The former claimer had reached his peak in 2013 when he won the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup and placed second in four other stakes, including the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. I), but hadn’t won in over a year and hadn’t come close to winning in his two starts of 2015. But in the Parx Dash, Tightend Touchdown turned back the clock, tracking fractions of :22.39 and :45.34 before grabbing the lead in deep stretch and hanging on to win by a head in the time of :57.19. Best of all, the field he beat was top-notch, with Mongolian Saturday, Power Alert, Amelia’s Wild Ride, Ben’s Cat, and Bold Thunder among the horses finishing behind him. What a performance!
Miler of the Week: King Kreesa
Entering the homestretch of the one-mile Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park, it looked like the talented turf miler King Kreesa was in for a battle. After all, 2014 Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Wicked Strong was just a head behind in second, and heavily-favored Reload was rallying strongly on the outside. But when push came to shove, King Kreesa turned back his challengers and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths, stopping the clock in a spectacular 1:32.34 seconds. What a time!
Up-and-Comer of the Week: Swipe
The brothers Keith and Kent Desormeaux teamed up on Saturday to win the $75,000 Summer Juvenile Championship Stakes at Los Alamitos with a promising two-year-old named Swipe, who looks like a horse to watch out for in the future. With Kent in the saddle, the Keith-trained colt settled in fifth place through a quick opening quarter-mile in :21.93, then began to advance through a half-mile in :45 flat and put in a sharp rally in the final furlong to close two lengths on the leader and win by a head in the time of 1:02.89 for 5 1/2 furlongs. His performance was good enough for a respectable Beyer speed figure of 80, and as a son of Birdstone, Swipe should only get better with extra distance. Could he be a future Kentucky Derby winner? You never know!