Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

A Record Breaking Santa Anita Oaks

Posted by Brian Appleton on March 6, 2011

The Santa Anita Oaks (gr.1) was not just another 3-year-old filly race this year; it will go down as one of the best performances of the season. Billed as a two horse race between the competing queens of the West Coast that’s exactly what it came down to at the wire.

May Day Rose predictably took the lead as the field of five fillies broke from the gate, A Z Warrior in close pursuit as the undefeated Kilograeme took third. Those three ran a length clear of Turbulent Descent in fourth as Zazu took up the rear of the field, another length behind Turbulent Descent. May Day Rose rolled through an opening quarter mile in :23.31 and the half in :46.67 with the positions unchanged. Turbulent Descent edged up to be right behind Kilogaeme by the half mile point with a two length gap back to Zazu. As the field approached the far turn May Day Rose began to inch away from A Z Warrior as Turbulent Descent began to mount her rally. Zazu kicked it into gear a moment later and the match was set from there. Midway around the turn May Day Rose began to fall back as Turbulent Descent under a full head of steam overtook A Z Warrior in the midst of making a bid for the lead and swept to the front. Zazu was still two lengths back, matching Turbulent Descent stride for stride. As the field came off the turn it was Turbulent Descent the one to catch. Down the homestretch Turbulent Descent exploded to a two length lead over A Z Warrior at the urging of jockey David Flores, blazing ahead with determination. The scene changed in a matter of seconds as Zazu found her best stride and began to gain ground with a tremendous rally. Turbulent Descent continued to accelerate down the stretch as Zazu reached her flank, then surged to within half a length of the lead. [Read the entire post here on Horse Racing Nation]

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2 Responses to “A Record Breaking Santa Anita Oaks”

  1. Brian,

    Personally, I don’t think TD is maxxed out at a mile or so. I think she’s a fabulous filly, with great tactical speed, and runs the turns like SUNDAY SILENCE frustrated EASY GOER time and time again. I believe tracks out here favor her great turn move. However, I also believe she’d clear off in longer races like EVENING JEWEL tried to last year in the Kentucky Oaks. The CD main track features a long stretch/backstretch which means tighter turns.

    I hope PUYPE reconsiders his decision…racing needs more rivalries, not less. And, even if she’s second or third in the Kentucky Oaks, she could still cut back and point to the Saratoga sprints in her division before tackling the BC F&M Sprint.

    • It’s interesting you would say that Rob, I’ve been thinking the same thing, I said something along the same lines in my latest post on Horse Racing Nation. Initially I was impressed that Mike Puype was willing to bypass the Kentucky Oaks because he wanted to keep her at distances that he feels will suit her style better but I just can’t get past the fact that she ran so incredibly well at 1 1/16 miles and isn’t going to get the chance to prove herself at 1 1/8 miles. I think she deserves a shot.

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