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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Kentucky Oaks Runner


Just four fillies entered the starting gate for the Hollywood Oaks (gr.2) after the scratch of Big Tiz, making the race by all appearances a two horse contest between Kentucky Oaks (gr.1) winner Plum Pretty, and Oaks third place finisher Zazu. On Thursday I wrote that I believed Zazu was the filly to beat and a prime candidate to rebound after her Oaks loss.

On Saturday the Tapit filly proved once and for all that she is easily one of the best three--year-old fillies in the nation,  perhaps the best. Zazu broke from the four post in the Hollywood Oaks, just to the outside of Plum Pretty who went right to the front to contest the pace with 22-1 longshot Wallstreeter. Going into the first turn Plum Pretty was very eager on the front end, running a half length ahead of Wallstreeter before jockey Martin Garcia took a tight hold of his filly and pulled her back to rate in second. Midway around the far turn Wallstreeter took command by two lengths over Plum Pretty while Zazu moved up to be a close third, just four lengths behind the top two, with Love Theway You are another three lengths in the rear. As the field raced down the backstretch Wallstreeter continued to lead the way over Plum Pretty with Zazu close behind. Love Theway Youare fell far back down the backside, trailing by nine lengths.

Approaching the far turn Plum Pretty and Zazu began to close the gap on Wallstreeter, Plum Pretty moving up on the outside of the pacesetter as Joel Rosario moved Zazu up along the rail. The tempo began to visibly accelerate as the trio approached the top of the stretch. Garcia swung Plum Pretty out into the three path while Rosario displayed daring brilliance and guided Zazu through an impossibly tight gap between Wallstreeter and the rail, momentarily bouncing around between the two before breaking free and gunning for the lead.  Plum Pretty got the jump on Zazu as both fillies charged for the wire under animated hand rides. The powerful duo exploded more than seven lengths ahead of Love Theway You are who had moved into second, the whip now out on Plum Pretty who held a narrow advantage. Zazu suddenly seemed to find another gear as her opponent weakened. Still under a hand ride the game filly burst through on the rail and strode across the wire, ears pricked, 1 ½ lengths ahead of the determined Kentucky Oaks winner. It was another 4 ¼ lengths back to Love Theway You are who closed well for third, more than eight lengths ahead of Wallstreeter.

[Plum Pretty and Zazu rank #27 and #29 respectively on HRN's Active Horses rankings page]

Both Zazu and Plum Pretty proved their worth and exceptional talent in the Hollywood Oaks, but it was clear at the end of the day who the better filly was. Zazu won her second graded stakes of the year after capturing the Grade 1 Las Virgenes earlier in the year and finished ahead of Plum Pretty for the third time in four meetings. Winning trainer John Sadler became the first person since Charlie Whittingham in 1971 and 1972 to win back-to-back running’s of the Hollywood Oaks after capturing last year’s event with Switch. Buster’s Ready and Summer Soiree turned in exceptional winning efforts on Saturday as well in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr.1) and Boiling Springs Stakes (gr.3) respectively, but more on that later.


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Older Comments about Zazoom!...

@greatercincinnatipropertymanagement - If you click on the link to "Zazu" or "Plum Pretty's" home page and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page with their race records, there's a little video link on the far left side of each career race listed. Click on that and it will bring up the race replay. I'll look into seeing if we can publish them on the same page with the stories in the meantime.
The video is on the Hollywood Oaks page. Or you can go to Plum Pretty's page and see it.
Can you post a video of the race with your commentary? I think readers would like to see Plum Pretty in action and don't have time to look for a video.
She is a really good looking filly...I love the greys when they're bordering on white. I guess they're thinking about trying her on the turf now.
With those looks, I can't help but to root for her!

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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.

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