Snowdrops won a pair of graded stakes from eight starts last year, while Beau's Town never made it to the starting gate, yet both are favored in stakes races at the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs Saturday.
Whether you felt this year's 3-year-old crop was a good one or bad one, it certainly inspired a good deal of passion and provided a number of memorable moments. The following is a look back at the tumultuous 3-year-old season and its most notable performers, broken down into categories.
Suave, ridden by Rafael Bejarano for red-hot trainer Paul McGee, came to life in the slop to register his first stakes triumph, drawing away in the $232,400 Northern Dancer (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs Saturday.
While some of racing's leading national stars compete in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) and the $400,000-added Fleur de Lis (gr. II), there are four other stakes races on the "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" program that have attracted strong lineups of their own.
Kentucky Derby Day is always a big one at Aqueduct, where two stakes will be featured on Saturday, the $150,000 Withers Stakes (g. III) and the $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Someday Farm's heavily-favored Smarty Jones ran his undefeated record to four Saturday, holding off the rallying Two Down Automatic and Pro Prado for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $100,000 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park.
Fire Slam put all questions about his health to rest Saturday by storming home a two-length winner in the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
The road to the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) begins Saturday at Fair Grounds as a field of seven 3-year-olds meet in the grade III $100,000 Lecomte Stakes.
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