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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Insight Outcomes: Maracuja, Mendenhall, More Hint at Bright 2022

An abundance of well-bred runners went to post this week with some very satisfying visits to the winner's circle. A Grade I winner kickstarted her 2022 campaign with a win before facing tougher company, while a number of first-time starters ran with promise, perhaps foreshadowing bigger things down the road. Thursday's Insights: Mandy Pope Starts Pair at Oaklawn 4th-Oaklawn, $90,000, Msw, 3-31, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:44.99, gd, head. Regally bred SALUTE THE FLAG (f, 4, Curlin--Private Ensign {GSP, $124,384}, by A.P. Indy) gamely wore down a loose-in-the-stretch late leader...

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Friday Racing Insights: Maracuja Begins 2022 Campaign At Oaklawn

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-OP, $108K, Alw/OC, 4yo/up, f, 1 1/16m, 5:39 p.m. GIW MARACUJA begins her 4-year-old campaign Friday against an allowance field at Oaklawn Park. She returns off a six-month freshening following a fourth-place effort behind Clairiere (Curlin) in the GI Cotillion S. Sep. 25 at Parx, where she seemed poised to strike but ultimately weakened down the stretch. The gray/roan daughter of Honor Code makes her first trip to Oaklawn after racing exclusively on the East Coast in her career thus far. Her crowning achievement came...

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Maracuja To Miss Azeri

Trainer Rob Atras reports that GI CCA Oaks upsetter Maracuja (Honor Code) is training nicely at Oaklawn Park, but will miss an intended engagement in next Saturday's GII Azeri S. and will likely be trained up to an appearance against the likes of Eclipse Award winner Letruska (Super Saver) in the GI Apple Blossom H. Apr. 23. "She's doing really well but we had setbacks with how the weather has gone and we're not anticipating making the Azeri," Atras told the New York Racing Association notes team. "We've played it...

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GISW Maracuja Arrives at Oaklawn, Targets Apple Blossom

GI CCA Oaks winner Maracuja (Honor Code), who arrived at Oaklawn Park New Year's Day, is expected to target the Apr. 23 GI Apple Blossom S., according to trainer Rob Atras. Based primarily in New York, Atras will be represented by a small string of runners at Oaklawn for the first time this winter. "It's kind of the first time I've kind of really, officially, opened up a second string," Atras said. "Obviously, in the summer we have to split our string up in Saratoga and Belmont, but this is...

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Alabama Also-Rans Invade For Cotillion

The second-, third-, fourth and last-place finishers from Saratoga's GI Alabama S. comprise half of what is expected to be a field of eight for Saturday's GI Cotillion S. at Parx Racing. Private Mission (Into Mischief), recent winner of the GIII Torrey Pines S., did not make the trip in from California. Clairiere (Curlin) won the GII Rachel Alexandra S. at the Fair Grounds on her seasonal debut, but was second in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks and a one-paced fourth to 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) in the GI...

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The Special Bond Uniting Two Travers Colts

How very apt, that a Saratoga card also featuring a race named in her honor should culminate Saturday in a GI Runhappy Travers S. bearing a twin imprint of the legacy of Personal Ensign. Both Dynamic One (Union Rags) and Miles D (Curlin), one-two in the Curlin S. last month, trace their ancestry to the Hall of Fame mare: Dynamic One's mother is out of Personal Ensign's granddaughter Storm Flag Flying (Storm Cat); while Miles D's dam is Storm Flag Flying's unraced half-sister Sound the Trumpets (Bernardini). But if nobody...

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Malathaat and Maracuja Rematch in Alabama

Maracuja (Honor Code) put an end to 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat's (Curlin) unbeaten record when they last met in Saratoga's GI CCA Oaks July 24. Now that GI Kentucky Oaks winner will try to turn the tables on that foe and return to winning ways as the even-money morning-line favorite in Saturday's prestigious GI Alabama S. going an additional furlong at the Spa. A perfect three-for-three as a juvenile, capped by a victory in the GII Demoiselle S., Malathaat kicked off her sophomore campaign with a head success in Keeneland's...

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Maracuja Ready to Roll in Alabama

Beach Haven Thoroughbreds' Maracuja (Honor Code) remains on target for next weekend's GI Alabama S. Aug. 21 at Saratoga. The GI Coaching Club American Oaks S. winner covered a half-mile breeze in :47.67 last Sunday while in company on the main track in her first work back since upsetting favored Malathaat (Curlin) in the nine-furlong CCA Oaks July 24. "She went a little quicker than I thought, visually," trainer Rob Atras. "She broke off a little quick and was rolling along and galloped out real nice. I never get too...

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Maracuja a Standout for Beach Haven

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-Even if she had not pulled off the biggest upset of the still-young Saratoga season Saturday afternoon, Maracuja (Honor Code) would have received a major dose of love from her owners Sunday morning. The gentle gray is, after all, Beach Haven Thoroughbreds's only horse. While her status in the stable didn't change, Maracuja's victory by a head over Malathaat (Curlin) in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks no doubt raised her stature in the 3-year-old filly division. She isn't likely to be the longest shot in the field...

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Maracuja Upsets Malathaat In CCA Oaks

With a perfect five-for-five record topped by an impressive score in the GI Kentucky Oaks, 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) was bet like she could not lose a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. However, in the final strides of the nine-furlong event, it was the longest shot on the board, 14-1 shot Maracuja (Honor Code), who dethroned the mighty Malathaat with a narrow upset. All four broke in tandem with Malathaat assuming a narrow lead rounding the clubhouse turn. Maracuja kept the favorite honest through...

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Malathaat Tops Short Field in CCA Oaks

Undefeated divisional leader Malathaat (Curlin) headlines a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's prestigious GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. A perfect five-for-five, the 'TDN Rising Star' kicked off 2021 with a gutsy score in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Apr. 3 and rallied to victory in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks last out Apr. 30, defeating next-out GI Acorn S. heroine Search Results (Flatter) by a hard-fought neck. "She's a very gifted filly," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "She's just been perfect so far and she's a pleasure to...

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