By Alan Carasso
Lady Apple (Curlin) squeezed through a very tight spot inside of favored Motion Emotion (Take Charge Indy) inside the final furlong and fought her way to a game victory in the GIII Fantasy S. at the Oaklawn Park.
One of the first to break the line, Lady Apple found her way to the fence with a minimum of fuss for Ricardo Santana Jr. and took up the box seat from third as the race favorite and chief market rival and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Brill (Medaglia d’Oro) ding-donged it on the business end. Still under a nice long hold from Santana entering the turn, Lady Apple drew ever closer approaching the stretch and loomed dangerous if able to find a spot to run. Motion Emotion managed to fend off the race-long challenge from Brill to her outside, but with Santana Jr. riding for luck, there was just enough room for Lady Apple to knife through and edge away to score.
“Ricardo gave her a dream trip and the filly showed tremendous heart,” said winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “She broke smoothly. He worked out the perfect trip for her. I think the only option was the fence and she showed a lot of heart to go through there.”
Second as a maiden in the Astoria S. at Belmont last June, Lady Apple was fifth in the GIII Schuylerville S. The following month and a distant fifth as the favorite to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Feedback (Violence) in a Spa maiden Aug. 12 before calling it a season. She defeated a next-out winner to graduate in the local slop Feb. 7 and handled the stretch out to two turns with a decisive allowance success here Mar. 23.
Lady Apple, the 24th graded winner and 57th black-type winner for Arkansas Derby winner Curlin, is one of 10 winners from 11 to race for the 2002 GII Schuylerville S. runner-up, who is also responsible for SW & GSP Dr. Diamonds Prize (Pure Prize) and Miss Red Delicious, who won the Ellis Park Debutante in 2005 to become the first stakes winner sired by Empire Maker. Lady Apple is a half-sister to the 2-year-old colt Apple Empire (Empire Maker) and a filly foal by More Than Ready that was born this past Feb. 24.
Friday, Oaklawn Park
FANTASY S.-GIII, $500,000, Oaklawn, 4-12, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:43.88, ft.
1–LADY APPLE, 117, f, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Miss Mary Apples (GSP, $171,172), by Clever Trick
2nd Dam: Sacred Sue, by Holy Bull
3rd Dam: Bootshine Girl, by Green Dancer
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($100,000
RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Phoenix Thoroughbred III & KatieRich
Stables; B-KatieRich Farms (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen;
J-Ricardo Santana, Jr. $300,000. Lifetime Record: 7-3-2-0,
$452,200. *1/2 to Miss Red Delicious (Empire Maker), MSW,
$203,425; and Dr. Diamonds Prize (Pure Prize), SW & GSP,
$240,903. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Werk Nick Rating: C+.
2–Motion Emotion, 118, f, 3, Take Charge Indy–Golden Motion,
by Smart Strike. ($55,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Mark
DeDomenico LLC; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY); T-Thomas L. Van
3–Brill, 117, f, 3, Medaglia d’Oro–Hung the Moon, by Malibu
Moon. ‘TDN Rising Star’ ($1,000,000 Ylg ’17 FTKJUL). O-OXO
Equine LLC; B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (KY); T-Jerry
Margins: 1, 3/4, 4HF. Odds: 9.80, 1.20, 3.10.
Also Ran: Orra Moor, Irish Mischief, Cosmic Code, Super Tap, Destiny Over Fate, K P Slickem, Oxy Lady, Filly Joel. Scratched: Kiffle. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.