What a weekend of races. Wow. From France to New York, to Santa Anita, with a stop at Churchill Downs, in-between. It has been a weekend of spectacular races, and performances.

Without a doubt. Without a question. Without a hesitation. The most remarkable and impressive performance was the spectacular victory of the 3-year-old filly Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this morning.

The beautiful filly, bred and owned by Juddmonte Farm, stamped herself as one of the best to ever step hoof to grass when she roared down the straightaway to put away her male rivals and pull away to a scintillating 21/2-length victory.

Jockey Frankie Dettori put her in a stalking position early on, but when the over-stuffed field crowded their way into the final turn, all he rider had to do was steer his steed to an opening.

She did all the rest. In style. With the blink of an eye and the stroke of a whip, Enable turned from idle to high performance and stormed home with a stride that no other could match, and a glide that few have ever shown.

Enable has now won five consecutive Group 1 races over the 11/2-mile grass distance — the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.

“She’s a superstar,” said Dettori, now the winningest rider in the history of the Arc with five total. “She’s an absolute freak.”

But this historic occasions was not a chance to celebrate Dettori or his infamous flying dismounts. It was a chance to witness the greatness of the filly.

“She’s very special and she was well positioned by Frankie in order to show her sheer class and brilliance,” said winning trainer John Gosden. “It’s all about the filly and the owner-breeder Prince Khalid (Abdullah). He bred the mother and for his farm to produce something like this is exciting for us all.”

Although wish as we might to see the great filly travel to the States for a try in the Breeders’ Cup in a month, it is not to happen.

“I think it would be wrong to run her again this year,” said Gosden. “I think to go to the Breeders’ Cup would be wrong, too hard on the filly. If she’s in great form, we should consider next year. Maybe it would be wonderful to go to the opening of the new Longchamp and try to do it again.”

No matter when she runs next, it will be worth watching. She is always worth watching.

Bolt d’Oro: Wow II

If not for the spectacle that is Enable, all the pictures would be focused on the 2YO colt Bolt d’Oro, who swept to an unprecedented victory in the G1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

The undefeated colt, trained by Mick Ruis, showed his muscle and his style in running off to a 73/4-length victory in his last prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. He covered the 11/16-mile distance in 1:43.54, which was more than 3 seconds faster than the undefeated 2YO filly Moonshine Memories covered the same ground in the G1 Chandelier Stakes the race before.

But it didn’t matter.  It looked like it was 3 minutes faster.

“I was more impressed when I watched the replay,” said winning jockey Corey Nakatani. “I really liked the way he did it.  He’s confident wherever he is at, he is a special animal.  Mick gave me the instructions and the horse did the rest.  I’m looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup as well as the first Saturday in May in Kentucky.  Mick had his friend, the great Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, here today.  He was my idol as a kid.  I always wanted to play like Lynn.”

On Saturday, Bolt d’Oro ran like the former Pittsburgh Steelers’ superstar wide receiver. Effortlessly. Gracefully. Victoriously.

“This was pretty cool,” said Ruis. “We thought he was going to run a good race. We thought he could run two turns, and now we know he can.

“Ike Green (Ruis’ racing manager) picked him out at as a yearling at the Saratoga Select sales. He loved him when he broke him. When we got him to San Luis Rey Downs they said he just moved fantastic. We got him into our barn here in March and everyone that got on him said he was special. He’s still proving everybody right.”

He wa special.  He IS special.  In his first two starts, Bolt d’Oro was off a bit slow, even though he was equipped with blinkers.  On Saturday, in the FrontRunner, he wasn’t slow at the start, and, especially, not at the finish.

He now appears on the brink of greatness.

“We learned that he could break today,” said Ruis. “We always knew he could but we didn’t want him to think he was a sprinter in those other races so I think we’re on the right track. We’ll see how he comes out of this race and just go from there.

“He always did break well. I just didn’t want to rush him out in his 6 ½ furlong debut or his 7 furlong race. Our goal was this race and the Breeders’ Cup, and then give him a chance to grow up. Hopefully what dreams are made of is what this guy might be able to get us to. That’s why we tried to stay on course and not get too excited about the Grade I at Del Mar. That was all on his natural talent.”

Elate in Beldame: Wow II

Two races ago, in the G1 Coaching Club of America Stakes at Saratoga, Elate gave the world a glimpse of what may be forthcoming.

The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro — bred and owned by famed Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider — roared down the stretch, skimming the rail, to nearly catch Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman at the wire.

It was just the beginning.

In her next out, in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, Elate galloped to a 51/4 length victory over It Tiz Well (who just came back to beat Abel Tasman in the Pennsylvania Oaks).

On Saturday, she stamped herself as a legitimate contender for this year’s deep Breeders’ Cup Distaff with a 81/4-length victory in the G1 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park.

For a moment, it appeared that the filly and rider, Jose Ortiz, Jr, were bottled up behind a wall of horses at the top of the stretch. But in the blink of an eye, a pinhole opened up and Elate pinned her foes to the ground.

She soared through the gap, and right to the top of the division.

“I have a lot of confidence in the horse and the rider,” said winning trainer Bill Mott. “Sometimes you’re stuck down in there, and you get stuffed, but the length of the stretch, to do it, and you could tell he was sitting there loaded, you don’t know what’s going to happen, but I didn’t lose any confidence.”

For Ortiz, all he needed was a little room. “When he [Irad Ortiz, Jr.] hit her [Bishop’s Pond] left handed and she came over a little bit, that’s when I squeezed [through].,” Ortiz said. “But when she put her head in, she was all the way. She just blew by them. I was very confident on the turn, I knew I had them. I had a lot of horse just nowhere to go, but a lot of horse. I could have come out at the sixteenth pole and we would have been away. I had a lot of horse.”

The Beldame was Elate’s fourth career victory, who will most likely ship to California for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar. 

“I was quite impressed with the acceleration she showed today when she did get through. I think that part of her has improved as the year’s gone on. She’s learning how to use her speed. We’ve had a good year. Anything we do from here on out is icing on the cake,” said Mott.

Awesome Slew vs. The Player in the Ack Ack: Wow III:

The G3 Ack Ack didn’t get the headlines of the other races, but there was not a better, more exciting and thrilling event in the world than the one put on by Awesome Slew and The Player in this 1-mile event.

Awesome Slew, coming off a second place finish to 2016 Sprint Champ Drefong in the G1 Forego Stakes, was looking for the perfect stepping stone to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile.  And, the connections thought they had found the perfect spot in the Ack Ack.

What they found was a 4YO colt by name of The Player, and he was ready to play.  It wasn’t until the final yards that Awesome Slew was able to inch his way past the stubborn foe and capture the Stakes in one of the most exciting and thrilling races of the year.

“Turning for home I had a ton of horse under me,” said winning rider Corey Lanerie.

The seasoned Awesome Slew’s class was undeniable in deep stretch as he edged clear from The Player, who proved to be an able challenger.

“That horse (Awesome Slew) outran him,” said The Player’s trainer “Buff” Bradley. “He was running – they both were running.”

“The goal for this spot was to give him an easier race,” said Norman Casse, assistant to his father Mark. “He’s been facing some of the best sprinters in the country so he needed to build his confidence back up. He did everything well today and the distance was perfect. There’s still some discussion to be had but right now we’ll point towards the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.”

The discussion should include both of these horses. But The Player will be pointed to Stakes a bit closer to home.

“No,” said Bradley, when asked about the Breeders’ Cup. “That horse (Awesome Slew) outran him. Calvin rode him beautifully, got him to the top of the stretch and tried to get away from that horse, but that horse ran him down. He’s just a very nice horse. But we’re very proud of The Player. We thought he ran awesome. He’s been fun. He was running – they both were running.”