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HRN Original Blog:
Kentucky Oaks Runner

Cicada Stakes A Serious Kentucky Oaks Prep?


As far as racing attention goes this weekend, all the focus will be centered around a highly competitive running of the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park and a rematch between Champion, Blind Luck, and her arch nemesis, Havre de Grace, in the Azeri Stakes (gr.3), also at Oaklawn Park this Saturday. While the celebrated Arkansas track will host the two biggest races of the weekend there will also be some minor in California and New York that could influence the Kentucky Oaks lineup. Santa Anita will host the 6 ½ furlong Santa Paula Stakes on Sunday while Aqueduct kicks things off on Saturday with the Cicada Stakes (gr.3).


Examining the field for the 19th running of the Cicada Stakes it seems unlikely the outcome of this 6 furlong race will have any kind of major impact on the Kentucky Oaks trail.
Seven 3-year-old fillies are entered and morning line favoritism falls to the Kiaran McLaughlin trained In Step who enters off a solid ½ length maiden win at Gulfstream Park on February 20th. McLaughlin has decided to sway from his preferred training regimen with the 3-year-old daughter of Unbridled’s Song by placing her in the Grade 3 Cicada Stakes before testing softer competition in an allowance race. Her maiden victory was the only start of In Step’s career. She was purchased for $1 million at the 2009 Keenland September Yearling Sale.

Dream appears to have the best form entering the Cicada undefeated in two starts by a combined 10 ¾ lengths in a maiden race and an optional allowance claimer. She had a small bone chip removed last year after her maiden win and according to trainer Rodney Jenkins she won the Laurel Park optional claiming race by 6 lengths while only 80% ready.
Trainer Tony Dutrow has entered Quantum Miss in the Cicada after a 5th place finish as the favorite in the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park in early January. He is confident his filly is a graded stakes caliber runner saying, “I’m feeling very good about her.” She won a state bred stakes race last year in Pennsylvania by 16 lengths at Penn National, so the potential is there.

Coax Liberty enters off a solid 2 length score in the Dearly Precious Stakes at Aqueduct last month and has drawn the outside post much to the delight of trainer James Lawrence. “It gives us a chance to get a good position,” he said, while also stating that they would be able to watch the race setup within the first ¼ mile.

Full Moon Blues and Wild About Sonny finished 3rd and 5th behind Coax Liberty in the Dearly Precious Stakes and are back for another try.The field is completed by Roman Treasure who broke her maiden last out at second asking, scoring by three lengths at Aqueduct on February 27th.

[Will the Cicade Stakes outcome make an impact on the HRN's 2011 Kentucky Oaks Contenders rankings?]

There are a few fillies in the Cicada who could prove their graded stakes worth with a dominant win but it appears overall to be a fairly weak field that is in no danger of threatening the top 9 Kentucky Oaks contenders. If a filly is to come out of this weekend with a chance to make some kind of impact in the Oaks it could come from Grade 3 winner California Nectar in the Santa Paula Stakes.

She took the Santa Ynez field gate to wire in mid January, defeating a fast-closing Zazu for the win before fading badly after helping set torrid fractions in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes. She eventually finished 5th in the Las Virgenes far behind Turbulent Descent and Zazu. She doesn’t like to rate and loves to be either setting the fractions or right beside the pace setters. You can expect her to once again be on the lead in the Santa Paula Stakes Sunday at Santa Anita and if she can relax and set some easy fraction up front the race should be hers.

Next Saturday is when things will really start to move with Kathmanblu and Inglorious set to contest the Fair Grounds Oaks and R Heat Lightning and It’s Tricky headed for a clash in the Gulfstream Oaks the Saturday after that.

Image Courtesy of KentuckyOaks.com

 

 

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Older Comments about Cicada Stakes A Serious Kentucky Oaks Prep?...

Pacemaker only is right ... she looks like a nice sprinter.
Glad to see we agree again! I think the only filly that has a chance to make any sort of impact in the Kentucky Oaks is California Nectar, and only as a "pacemaker" not a serious contender..
To answer the question posed in the title, I would say no. The Cicada, and the Santa Paula for that matter, look like races that will not be producing any major contenders for the Oaks. Looking forward to next week ;-)

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 Meet Brian Appleton 

Thoroughbred Horse Racing is my passion.  It started when at the age of 9 I found a book called Come On Seabiscuit by Ralf Moody on my Mother’s shelf.  Reading that book was one of the most exciting things I ever did as a kid. I read that book so many times that I had entire chapters committed to memory and the dust jacket worn and ripped beyond recognition from so much use. From that point on I was hopelessly addicted, reading every book on horse racing I could get my hands on, especially racehorse biographies. In 2009 I began my own blog called Rail Runner on wordpress and have continued to blog there to this day.

Curlin is probably my favorite racehorse of all time. Being able to attend six of his races will always be one of the highlights of my life. Whenever I need to re-find some inspiration in my life all I need to do is watch one of his incredible victories and relive the memories. Rachel Alexandra ranks right up there too. As any horse racing fan will tell you it’s almost impossible to choose just one favorite and I am no exception. Phar Lap and Citation are another two of my all time favorites and the list could go on and on.

I was homeschooled my entire life by my parents and graduated High School in 2006 at the age of 17.  Currently I am completing my Marketing degree with the hopes of entering the Thoroughbred Horse Racing field as a writer/journalist , or in the marketing/advertising/promotions side of the industry.

It is my dream to someday become a thoroughbred racehorse owner and win major races across the United States. Who wouldn't want that, right?  For about 1 ½ years I was part owner in a racehorse, Lord Greystoke raced, and owned by Hibiscus Stables. I was able to attend one of his races at Belmont Park on Kentucky Derby day, May 2, 2009 and it was an incredible experience. While Lord Greystoke finished 7th in the race, being able to stand in an owner’s box not 30 feet away from Penny Chenery’s owner’s box was one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

Later in the year Lord Greystoke was finally able to break through with a 4 ½ length win which made me feel like one of the world’s most accomplished thoroughbred owners and further fueled my appetite. I think it would be rally neat to win the Appleton Stakes (Gr.3) at Gulfstream Park, even though I'm generally a bigger fan of dirt racing I can't help but think it would be neat for me to win a race with the same name as my last name.

That’s me in a nutshell, just a very passionate, driven young guy that wants to be a part of this amazing sport and share the adventure with other fans.