Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast


Posted by Brian Appleton on June 26, 2011

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 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 opened up by two lengths on 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 led 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.  [Read the complete post here on Distaff Runner at Horse Racing Nation]


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