Run for the Lilies

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Who would have thought when this blog began, that three of our Maiden Watch graduates would be vying for the lilies in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)? Medaglia d'Oro sends out Rachel Alexandra and Gabby's Golden Gal, while Birdstone has Stone Legacy in the field.

Rachel Alexandra made her first appearance around Derby day last year, as she recorded a work on May 1 of 2008.

She finished 6th first time out, on May 22 at Churchill Downs.

Rather an inauspicious beginning for the big favorite in the Oaks.

Her maiden win came next time out, on June 13 (Friday the 13th) again at Churchill Downs.

Interestingly, third in that race was C. S. Silk who later took the Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III), and who runs in the Eight Belles (gr. III) on Derby Day.

She then made her first stakes appearance, finishing 2nd in the Debutante (gr. III) on June 28, again at Churchill Downs.

After an allowance win at Keeneland in October, she returned to Churchill Downs on November 1, running a troubled 2nd in the Pocahontas (gr. III).

She ended the year with her first graded stakes win, in the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill on November 29.

This year, it's been nothing but stakes, and nothing but impressive wins for Rachel Alexandra.

The Martha Washington on February 15 at Oaklawn:

The Fair Grounds Oaks in the mud:

And the Fantasy on April 5 at Oaklawn:

Gabby's Golden Gal was one of our first workers on the Maiden Watch blog, first working on February 26 of 2008. She worked often and quickly, but did not race until June 16, when she finished 3rd at Hollywood Park, while running 5 furlongs.

She had a break after that start, but returned to the worktab in late November, again working fast and often.

She was back in the starting gate on February 6, taking a Maiden Special Weight at Santa Anita. Watch the Replay.

She finished 2nd in an allowance race at Santa Anita on March 5, but seemed to lack some punch.

Gabby found her punch in her first start on the dirt, taking the Sunland Park Oaks by an impressive 13 lengths on March 29. Watch the Replay.

Stone Legacy did not win in her 4 starts at 2, but she did run second twice, including on November 20 at Churchill Downs.

She also finished 2nd in her first start at 3, before breaking through with a win on February 12 at Oaklawn Park. Watch the Replay.

Stone Legacy was back to her old ways on March 1, finishing 2nd in an Allowance race at Oaklawn Park. Watch the Replay.

In her most recent start, she tried stakes company for the first time, finishing 5th in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park on March 21. Watch the Replay.

Safe trip to all the fillies in the Kentucky Oaks, and good luck to our three.

Other May 1 Action

Also running in stakes company on Friday May 1 at Churchill Downs is Mein Fraulein (Saarland), who takes on a full-field at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf in the Edgewood, race 8. Mein Fraulein has won 2 races this year, including her most recent start, a mile and a sixteenth Allowance race at Oaklawn on April 8. Mein Fraulein has never run on the grass, but the Saarlands seem to like it.

An interesting Allowance race at Churchill is race 5, which features 4 Speightstowns - Munnings, Fufty Too, Just Ben, and Reynaldothewizard, and a Medaglia d'Oro, Warrior's Reward.  Munnings, who hasn't run since he finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on October 25, has been working at Palm Meadows with Kentucky Derby entrant Dunkirk. Fufty Too finished third in the Northern Spur in his most recent start on April 11 at Oaklawn Park. Also coming into the race off of stakes attempts are Reynaldothewizard, who was 4th in the San Miguel on March 28, and Warrior's Reward, who finished 8th in the Tampa Bay Derby behind Musket Man. Just Ben comes into the race off of an impressive 7 length win at Gulfstream Park on March 28. Apart from the Maiden Watch horses, other recognizable names in this one include Brother Keith and Custom for Carlos.

8 Comments

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Flynne

Rachel Alexandra is just a beast. I do not conceivably see her losing the Oaks, but she'll finally get some competition as a 3-year-old with Justwhistledixie.

01 May 2009 3:14 AM
AnneM

That 5th at CD was a very nice race- Warrior's Reward got a great ride from Calvin Borel down the rail to run past Munnings.

01 May 2009 2:19 PM
Blood-Horse Staff

AnneM - Yeah, Munnings might have been a little fresh off that layoff, but it certainly was a nice race for Warrior's Reward. He had been my Belmont horse. Hmmm... How about that Maiden Watch trifecta, with Reynaldothewizard taking third?

01 May 2009 4:02 PM
Diane D

Incredible Oaks today! I thought the TV coverage was possibly the worst ever. Fashion shows,etc. Not even a full replay of the stretch run(away) by a remarkable filly. Would love to see her against  the boys at the Belmont.

01 May 2009 8:57 PM
AnneM

I saw the best 3 year old in the country run today and her name is

Rachel Alexandra - what a race - what a filly

01 May 2009 10:35 PM
Karen in Indiana

I taped HRTV & Bravo coverage of the Oaks. I don't know why HRTV wasn't showing the names of the horses, just their numbers, during the races from Churchill. They usually do and I missed that, but they gave excellent commentary as always. Bravo showed the names & numbers. Anyway, I enjoyed Bravo's version more than I expected and it will expose people to the sport who would never have given horse racing a thought. I think it accomplished the goal of widening the range of people who may be interested enough to become fans. As far as the fluff stuff, Japan caters to female fans and Dubai had a wonderful fashion contest during their World Cup, both of those countries have a thriving horse racing industry. I enjoyed the races and the shows. An odd mix, but it's supposed to be a fun experience. If it brings in more people, what's the harm?

01 May 2009 11:32 PM
Diane D

No harm, but I want more actual racing and not to be targeted as a female for the lighter fluffy stories.I've loved racing for 50 years and more and get frustrated with the side shows. But ... what a great filly!!!

02 May 2009 12:58 AM
Blood-Horse Staff

I can't comment on the telecast because the only part that I saw was the actual race, although I did notice that they didn't seem to show a complete replay.

02 May 2009 1:57 AM

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