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   2007 Kentucky Oaks

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   Mojo News and Notes
Kentucky Oaks and Derby 2007

Any trip back to My Old Kentucky Home is typically a good time, and that's especially true when attending the races. Despite a "sloppy" start, Mother Nature parted the clouds for the Run for the Lillies.   Overnight, the weather cleared and made way for a picture-perfect, sunny Kentucky Derby Day.

In the Kentucky Oaks, Rags to Riches, proved to the 100,000+ rain-soaked fans why she was the favorite. 

Photo by Bill Luster

Owned by Michaeal Tabor, the $1.9 million filly, shot out of Post 11; was taken to the inside early to save ground on the muddy track; was four back around the Clubhouse turn; patiently five off the pace at the 1/2 mile post and into the far turn.  Under the steady ride of Jockey Garret Gomez, he swung Rags to Riches four wide at the top of the stretch, and with a burst of speed that proved her ability in the Santa Anita Oaks and Las Virgines, she kicked clear for the win by 4 1/2 lengths!  Click the Oaks to see a replay of the race.

Not since Spectacular Bid has a Juvenile Champ won the Kentucky Derby.  On Saturday, May 5, 2007, the colt that won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile over the same track in November 2006 came off the pace to win the 133rd Run for the Roses before the third largest Derby crowd (156,635).

Photo by Arza Barnett

As the three-year-olds broke from the gate, Jockey Calvin Borel (known to many as "Bo-rail" for his craftiness of manuevering his horse to the inside) methodically guided Street Sense to the inside, and was 19 back as the horses passed the Twin Spires for the first time.  (In the pic above, they are the last - orange saddle cloth.)

It was a classic come-from-behind victory.  Settling in at the back of the pack for most of the race, Borel and Street Sense were comfortable letting the other horses try to keep up with the well-rested/front-runner (and second place finisher) Hard Spun.  Into the far turn, the two started closing the gap, staying inside, and passing fading horses (14 in total).  At the top of the stretch, rather than wait for an opening on the rail, Street Sense was swung three-wide into the clear.  Borel (who told the press he felt like he was sitting on "a bomb") called on the Champ to take on Hard Spun the the 1/8 Pole and finish the job - which he did in perfect form and fashion.   Click the Derby to see a replay of the race.

Street Sense is the fourth consecutive "homebred" to win the Kentucky Derby (i.e., bred and retained by the owners, rather than bought at auction).  His grandsire is Mr. Prospector, and his dam's grandsire is Northern Dancer.  The Mr. Prospector line has now produced three Derby winners:  2002 War Emblem, 2000 Fusaichi Pegasus, and 1995 Thunder Gulch.  Perhaps there's a little Mojo left in Grand-dad's line to produce another Champ in 2008.

Click on the links to the left to see the bird's eye photos from the 2007 Oaks and Derby.