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HRN Original Blog:
Kentucky Oaks Runner

Kentucky Oaks 137: A Day of Pink

Racing’s day of pink has arrived. In just a few short hours Churchill Downs will slowly begin to fill with thousands of fans ready to witness an exciting day of racing and the stands will rapidly become a sea of pink. Pink has become the color of preference at the Kentucky Oaks since it began to partner with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2009, a joined effort to bring a broader awareness to breast cancer. This year the Survivors Walk will be held for the third consecutive year; 137 survivors of breast cancer will parade past the stands down the track followed by the cheers and applause from the many thousands of supporters and well wishers. It is easily one of the most heartwarming and inspiring moments I have witness while at the track.
 
At approximately 5:45 P.M. Eastern time today, a field of thirteen fillies that comprise one of the most talented Oaks fields in history, will break from the gates at Churchill Downs, run around the dirt oval and lay their hearts out on the line in the final furlong, but only one will cross the finish wire first. When those thirteen fillies hit the head of the stretch in the Oaks all the best laid plans, analysis and theories will be forgotten as the rush of the moment takes over and all that matters is winning.
 
This year’s Oaks is an exceptionally tough race to handicap and I have been picking my brain trying to decide how the race will play out. To be completely honest I would only be surprised to see Suave Voir Faire, Her Smile, Bouquet Booth and Street Storm win. Of the remaining ten fillies each and every one has proven themselves to be a gifted athlete, worthy of exceptional racing ability.
 
As a fan I will be rooting for Joyful Victory to win. The more I see of this filly the more I like her. Not only has she proven herself to be one of the most brilliant performers of the year with two consecutive victories, she also has one of the most amiable trainers in the game in Larry Jones, a trainer I hold in very high regard. Jones won the Kentucky Oaks in 2008 with Proud Spell but has never had a filly quite this good leading up to the big dance. This week Joyful Victory has been training like a monster and appears ready for another huge performance.
 
Summer Soiree has been gaining some buzz around Churchill Downs during the past few days as she has appeared exceptional in her gallops during the morning training hours. She will undoubtedly be on the lead or at the very least contesting the pace throughout. 1 1/16 miles was not a problem for her in the least two starts back against allowance company but the question now remains if she can sustain her lead gate-to-wire. I’d have to say no, not in the Oaks when you’ve got Zazu, St. John’s River and Holy Heavens coming from far back while mid pack runners like Joyful Victory and Kathmanblu will be close behind on the final turn and fillies like Plum Pretty, Lilacs and Lace and Daisy Devine who should be right at her throat near the head of the stretch.
 
As long shots go this year I think everyone has pretty much been brought up to speed on how amazing St. John’s River and Daisy Devine have looked but one filly that seems to be getting completely overlooked at staggering odds of 50-1 is Holy Heavens. This daughter of Holy Bull has shown admirable consistency all year long while facing graded stakes quality fields. In her last two starts she proved no match for Joyful Victory in the Honeybee and Fantasy Stakes but launched fantastic rallies that saw her take second and third place respectively. If she makes her move earlier in the Oaks there’s a good chance she could take a piece of the action.
 
Kathmanblu has been steadily making a much better appearance at Churchill in her morning gallops. A return to Churchill could just mean a return to glory for this game and talented filly. We all know what she’s capable of and at the beginning of the year she led virtually every Oaks top 12 list. Is she still good enough to wear the garland of lillies?

 
However the Oaks turns out it should produce a show worthy of such a glittering field and I can tell you it’s a no brainer that I’ll be jumping up and down, hands in the air shouting at the top of my lungs when the fillies come off that last turn. Good luck to all and may the best horse win.

I'll be tweeting updates from 3:30 on today so feel free to check in on twitter: BArailrunner

Image Courtesy of KentuckyOaks.com
 

 

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Older Comments about Kentucky Oaks 137: A Day of Pink...

She's looking great (feels like I can say that about half the field lol!) and I personally think she's ready to run big.
Pretty Plum. Place a wager and cash tickets!

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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.