Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

The Return of St. John’s River

Posted by Brian Appleton on July 8, 2011

The 137th running of the Kentucky Oaks was considered a very strong and competitive field of fillies before the running, now two months after the historic running form has held up extremely well. Kentucky Oaks third place finisher Zazu returned to defeat Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty in a thrilling rendition of the Hollywood Oaks. Kentucky Oaks fourth place finisher Joyful Victory came back to finish second in the Mother Goose Stakes behind an overpowering victory by Buster’s Ready. Kentucky Oaks tenth place finisher Summer Soiree turned in a dazzling performance when capturing the Boiling Springs Stakes by 8 ½ lengths on turf. Her Smile finished eleventh in the Kentucky Oaks, a distance third in the Acorn Stakes and then uncorked a stunning last-to-first move to win the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes in her first try sprinting. There have been just as many failed returns as successful ones like Daisy Devine’s fifth place finish in the Iowa Oaks, Kathmanblu and Bouquet Booth’s fourth and third place finishes in the Regret Stakes and Street Storm’s runner up effort in a Churchill Downs Optional Allowance Claiming race, but overall the quality of the Kentucky Oaks field has held up well to its earlier reputation.

St. John’s River is the latest filly from the powerful Kentucky Oaks arsenal set to fire off this weekend in the Delaware Oaks (gr.2), and if past performance is any indication the best might have been saved for last. Two necks and a half length, that’s how close St. John’s River is away from four consecutive victories.[Read the complete post here and see how the field stacks up in the Delaware Oaks on Distaff Runner at Horse Racing Nation]

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