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Plum Pretty Is 2011 Kentucky Oaks Winner After Thrilling Finish At Churchill Downs

It should come as no surprise to see a Bob Baffert horse in the winner's circle at Churchill Downs, though this time it was the Kentucky Oaks, Friday's precursor to the Kentucky Derby, taking home a victory. At 6/1, Plum Pretty held good odds in the morning line, but still surprised Joyful Victory, who many expected to be the dominant horse in the Kentucky Oaks field.

But Joyful Victory was caught in the wash, a hazard of starting on the rail, and was never able to mount a serious challenge. As it stood, Plum Pretty came flying around the final turn as if she was shot out of a cannon, taking a lead and putting some distance between herself and the field. That distance was needed, though, as the field began to close heading toward the wire.

Rosie Napravnik ran a wonderful race aboard St. John's River, starting on the extreme outside and making a beeline straight for the rail. She kept St. John's River along the rail for the entire race and closed incredibly fast down the stretch with Plum Pretty in her sights. But Napravnik ran out of real estate and if the Kentucky Oaks was just a stride longer, she may have nipped Plum Pretty to take home the top prize.

Plum Pretty paid 14.80 to win with those 6/1 odds. The rest of the order is below.

No. 12 Plum Pretty
No. 13 St John's River
No. 6 Zazu
No. 1 Joyful Victory
No. 8 Bouquet Booth

For more on the race, check out the rest of our 2011 Kentucky Oaks StoryStream. The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.