Apple Blossom

Easy Win for California Shipper Adare Manor in Apple Blossom

Michael Lund Petersen's Adare Manor (m, 5, Uncle Mo--Brooklynsway, by Giant Gizmo), who so often shows her best on the front end, took her California tactics on the road with a 5 1/2-length score in Oaklawn's $1.25-million GI Apple Blossom S. Saturday while conceding between one and six pounds to her rivals. Flying Connection (Nyquist), who shipped in from Sunland Park after three straight stakes wins in New Mexico for the red-hot Todd Fincher barn, closed late to nab second over Mar. 24 Shantel Lanerie S. winner Free Like a...

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Arrogate's Tiny Temper Goes Last To First In Azeri

The only GIII Azeri S. entry to not have tried stakes company, Tiny Temper (Arrogate) ran like a giant down the lane on Saturday afternoon in Hot Springs in the prep for next month's GI Apple Blossom S. Breaking her maiden at second asking over the slop as a late juvenile at Churchill Downs, the bay was not seen until she ran fourth against allowance company at Ellis Park last summer. Taking a break until the beginning of this year, the older filly faced off-the-turf allowance foes at Fair Grounds...

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Background Check: Apple Blossom

In this continuing series, we examine the past winners of significant filly/mare races by the lasting influence they've had on the breed. Up today is the GI Apple Blossom H., Oaklawn's signature distaff event. The Apple Blossom is such a mainstay in the older filly and mare ranks that it might be a surprise to all but those with the longest memories that the first several winners were males. It's the last 50 years that have been devoted exclusively to the ladies, resulting in a steady diet of champions in...

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One Last Derby Bullet to Fire

Currently on the GI Kentucky Derby bubble with 40 points, rallying GII Louisiana Derby runner-up and 'TDN Rising Star' Disarm (Gun Runner) will look to punch his ticket to the big dance in Saturday's GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. at Keeneland. The Stonestreet Lexington is the final race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and carries 40 points that will be awarded on a 20-8-6-4-2 basis. A top-three finish by Disarm would secure the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. The...

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Thursday Racing Insights: Godolphin Debuts Well-Bred Tapit Colt at Belmont

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 6th-BEL, $90K, MSW, 3yo/up, 7f, 3:37 p.m.    Owner/Breeder Godolphin debuts 3-year-old homebred SHREVEPORT in this elongated sprint at Belmont Thursday. The son of leading sire Tapit is out of the MGISW Seventh Street (Street Cry {Ire}) who took both the GI Apple Blossom H. and the GI Go for Wand H., making him a full-brother to GII Demoiselle S. winner and GI Ketel One Ballerina H. runner-up Lake Avenue. Trainer Bill Mott has prepared the gray colt for debut with a pair of Payson...

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Letter to the Editor: A Tale of Two Apple Blossom Winners, by Catherine Riccio

In the 1980s the horse racing game was filled with white bridles and D. Wayne Lukas winning just about every weekend stakes race from coast to coast. The slogan which handicappers used was "D. Wayne off the plane," referring to his ability to ship horses to different tracks and pick up stakes wins. Several of Lukas's fillies included Landaluce, Terlingua, Lady's Secret, Life's Magic, Family Style, Lucky Lucky Lucky, Miss Huntington and the list goes on. When I think back of my first years working at the track, two fillies...

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Eclipse Champions Clash in Apple Blossom

After the focus on points races for Derby and Oaks contenders taking up headlines over recent weekends, the distaff division gets a match up worthy of the front page as 2021 Eclipse champions Letruska (Super Saver) and Ce Ce (Elusive Quality) meet for the first time in Oaklawn's GI Apple Blossom H. Both are previous winners of the Hot Springs signature race, as the Fausto Gutierrez-trained Letruksa won the Apple Blossom in 2021 and the Mike McCarthy-conditioned Ce Ce took the 2020 edition. The two have otherwise taken divergent paths,...

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Week in Review: Irad's Magic on Display in Apple Blossom

It happened again on Saturday, just as it seems to happen on every big day at the track. Irad Ortiz, Jr. won a race he wasn't supposed to win. When a race, in this case the GI Apple Blossom H., comes down to a nose at the wire and Ortiz is on the winning end, he probably made the difference. He's that good. Ortiz picked up the mount on Letruska (Super Saver) for Saturday's race, riding her for the first time. Still, it looked like the best the 5-year-old mare...

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Midnight Bisou Retired

Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute--Diva Delite, by Repent), the reigning Eclipse Award-winning older female and five-time Grade I winner, has been retired from racing, according to Jeffrey Bloom, co-owner and managing partner or Bloom Racing Stable. "I cannot begin to tell you what this mare has meant to me, my family, and my partners," said Bloom. "The places she has taken us and the thrills she has given us are immeasurable. And just to be in her presence is to feel what greatness is all about. Her calm, inquisitive demeanor, her...

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Oaklawn Planning 57-Day Meet with Four $1-Million Stakes Races in 2021

Pending approval from the Arkansas Racing Commission, Oaklawn plans to conduct its regular 57-day meet highlighted by four $1-million stakes races--$1-million GII Rebel S., $1-million GI Arkansas Derby, $1-million GII Oaklawn H. and $1-million GI Apple Blossom H.--and the richest purse structure in its 117-year history. The 2021 season, which will be accentuated by the opening of a multi-purpose event center and a luxury 200-room hotel overlooking the track, is scheduled to run Friday, Jan. 22--Saturday, May 1. In addition, 21 stakes will have their purses raised by at least...

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Ce Ce Rides Hot Hand Into Santa Maria

A highly anticipated rematch of the GI Beholder Mile S. is on tap in Sunday's GII Santa Maria S. at Santa Anita. Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), an impressive 3 1/4-length breakthrough winner over 'TDN Rising Star' Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun) in that affair Mar. 14, just got up in time by a head after a very wide trip in a loaded renewal of Oaklawn's GI Apple Blossom H. last time Apr. 18. Also previously under consideration for Belmont's GI Ogden Phipps S. June 13, Ce Ce looks for...

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Ce Ce Wins Battle of the Cali Invaders in Apple Blossom

With the end of the championship meet at Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn Park and its Racing Festival of the South is, for all intents and purposes, the current focal point of Thoroughbred racing in North America in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Saturday's GI Apple Blossom H., one of two top-level events staged at Arkansas's spa meeting, attracted an incredibly diverse group of main-track distaffers, including California raiders Ollie's Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}) and Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), who book-ended the 14-strong field when gates were drawn Wednesday. Despite enterprising...

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