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Lilacs and Lace Surprises Cathy's Crunches

Lilacs and Lace, under a vigorous ride by Russell Baze, collared front-running Cathy's Crunches past the sixteenth pole and drew off to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $92,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields Jan. 1.

The race was marred by the breakdown of Game to Run, who was injured while tracking the pace approaching the final turn of the 1 1/16-mile event on Golden Gate's Tapeta racing surface. According to California Horse Racing Board veterinarian Dr. Forrest Franklin, the daughter of Game Plan sustained a condylar fracture of her right front cannon bone and was euthanized.

With the scratch of Seismic Speed, the field for the California Oaks was reduced to four. Lilacs and Lace was able the tables on the 1-2 choice Cathy's Crunches, whose three-stakes winning streak came to an end. Cathy's Crunches came from behind to defeat Lilacs and Lace in the one-mile Corte Madera Stakes by a half-length Dec. 4.

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