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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kentucky Oaks Contenders

"If you like it then you should've put a ring on it..." Beyonce.

Truth: Beyonce has the Single Ladies market cornered. I'd never attempt to compete with the queen. Not on booty-shaking or singing or fashion. At the least, that would require I sit still in a hairstylist and make-up artist's chair for an obscene amount of time and then do a bunch of clothes and shoes shopping. No, thank you! Unless I'm checking out the latest cool hair accessories or shoes for horses, I'll pass. 

One thing, Ms. Beyonce does understand though, is what a single lady needs. And yes, when she sings her song, Single Ladies, she's most likely thinking of human ladies. But I can't help but think of the gorgeous single beauties who will soon be competing, Friday, May 2nd, to be exact, in the Kentucky Oaks Derby

Thirteen contenders are currently on the list to tear up the racetrack. My top three picks are the beautiful Fashion Plate. Trainer: Simon Callaghan. Jockey: Gary Stevens. Owner: Arnold Zetcher & Michael B. Tabor. Seeing as how I've already admitted I am so very much not a fashionista, it might seem odd that I'd pick this horse, but with the Santa Anita Oaks win swiftly under her belt just a few weeks ago and Gary Stevens riding shotgun, I don't see how this lovely filly won't impress me with her efforts. 

My second top pick is Sugar Shock. I'm not going to lie, I love the name. Sure, I could pretend to be some expert handicapper and look up all sorts of stats as to what makes this filly impressive, but truth? When I saw that Calvin Borel was attached as the jockey, I got pretty darn (no, not dam-darn! Horse people, always thinking of the ponies.) Anyway...I got very excited at the idea of Calvin and Sugar Shock tearing up the track together. And yes, I love sweets. Brought home some butterscotch muffins with me tonight from the grocery. I don't see how that can do anything but help my odds. Butterscotch for breakfast? I'm pretty sure Sugar Shock would be very impressed! It's also worth noting, Sugar Shock is trained by Doug Anderson (Illinois native! Woo-hoo!!!) and owned by On Cloud Nine. 
Attribution: Coady Photography 
Third on my short list of lovely single ladies to watch come the big day is trainer Doug O'Neill's Empress of Midway. Mainly, I picked Ms. Midway because I follow the O'Neill barn on FB and have seen many of their horses train and race, in person. Any excuse to visit coastal Del Mar, the sadly now-defunct Hollywood Park, Golden Gate and Santa Anita race tracks are always welcomed at my front door. Empress of Midway has steadily been improving in her workouts and deserves ample consideration. Empress' owner, Daniel Kramer, being a veterinarian also boosts her street cred for me. I like to think that all of the horses running in highly graded stakes' races are properly being cared for and attended to all of the time, by all of their human caretakers. Go show your herd-for-a-day how it's done, Empress! Not that southern California needs more sunshine, but I hope you're able to take home a big golden win come Friday. 

Names of the remaining contenders for the Kentucky Oaks are as follows: Untapable, My Miss Sophia, Rosalind, Got Lucky, Aurelia's Belle, Ria Antoina, Kiss Moon, Fiftyshadesofgold, Unbridled Forever and Thank You, Marylou.  

If you'd like to check out all the contenders and catch a glimpse of some of their stats, the Kentucky Oaks page is a great place to get started. 

And if you can't get enough of Beyonce's Single Ladies, no matter how old the song is or how many times you've seen her booty shake, here's a live version for you. You're welcome! 

In closing, I feel compelled to point out, that just like Ms. Beyonce likes to tell the guys that they should've put a ring on it if they liked it, don't forget to put a bet on it if you like it! All the horses thank you in advance for your support and camaraderie. Should your bet pay off, pay that good luck forward by spending some of those big bucks in a conscientious way. Many non-profit after-the-track thoroughbred care organizations would welcome and greatly need donations to survive and properly care for these gorgeous creatures when they're done entertaining the humans. Trainer Dallas Keen and his wife, Donna's, Remember Me Rescue, is one such organization. 

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