A superb cast of 14 fillies and mares will contest the $600,000 Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. The ultra-competitive feature attracted five individual Grade 1 winners in what is the top race in the division to this point of the season.
Apple Blossom Analysis
Recent Azeri (G2) romper #11 Serengeti Empress is the swiftest horse in the affair and will set sail for the lead from the break. #1 Ollie’s Candy, #4 Come Dancing, #10 Cookie Dough, and #14 Ce Ce are all fast as well, which should ensure a very lively early tempo in the Apple Blossom.
Apple Blossom Contenders
#1 OLLIE’S CANDY (12-1) — Sadler trainee is a Grade 1 winner on dirt and fits well in this field with her best showing. Candy Ride mare draws well to save ground inside, and she will be tracking the pace early on under Rosario.
#2 COLDWATER (50-1) — Outsider in the field was a narrow winner over starter allowance foes in her dirt debut and subsequently switched to the Eurton barn. Hold Me Back mare would be a huge surprise from off the pace.
#3 AWE EMMA (20-1) — $2 million daughter of War Front is 4-for-6 at Oaklawn and comes off an allowance tally last time out for Stewart. 5-year-old has yet to run fast enough to topple this quality of opposition, however.
#4 COME DANCING (3-1) — Classy Grade 1 victress makes her seasonal debut and first try since moving to the barn of D. Wayne Lukas. Malibu Moon 6-year-old will be formidable with her top effort off the layoff. Florent Geroux will be in the stirrups.
#5 POINT OF HONOR (10-1) — Curlin filly was a high-quality sophomore and could evolve into a leading player in this division in 2020. Top pick is a powerful late runner who will receive the necessary early pace to aid her closing push. Drayden Van Dyke inherits the mount.
#6 STREET BAND (15-1) — Grade 1 starlet had no luck chasing lone speed in the Azeri, but she will receive an entirely different pace scenario to work with in the Apple Blossom. Larry Jones trainee readied for the Apple Blossom with a bullet drill on the course on Monday.
#7 QUEEN NEKIA (20-1) — Sneaky former claimer has shown a solid turn of foot in two tries since joining the Joseph barn. Florida invader will have a fast pace to rally into with David Cohen signed on.
#8 SARACOSA (30-1) — Longshot finished a late third in the Azeri most recently, but she will need a lifetime best to impact this field in the stretch for Contreras.
#9 HOROLOGIST (15-1) — Grade 3 vixen exits a game runner-up performance at Laurel Park in preparation for her most demanding assignment to date. Gemologist filly rates an exotics chance with a move forward on Saturday.
#10 COOKIE DOUGH (10-1) — Florida invader will add to a robust pace for Joseph. Recent Royal Delta (G3) heroine will be dangerous with improvement second off the short break.
#11 SERENGETI EMPRESS (4-1) — Reigning Kentucky Oaks (G1) queen comes in off of a facile score on the surface for Amoss. Fleet 4-year-old shows three smart drills in the interim, and the race goes through her and pilot Joe Talamo.
#12 GO GOOGLE YOURSELF (12-1) — Consistently very good daughter of Into Mischief appears set for a big run in her second outing of 2020. Bay mare is versatile and is perfect from two local appearances as well. Brian Hernandez Jr. rides.
#13 LADY APPLE (15-1) — Multiple graded queen was outrun in the slop in the Azeri most recently, but could rebound with her top effort on Saturday. Asmussen trainee is 3-for-4 at Oaklawn and could offer a lot of value in the exotics.
#14 CE CE (7-2) — Fantastic filly ran arguably her best race to date in a Beholder Mile (G1) romp most recently at Santa Anita. McCarthy pupil is lightly raced with room for improvement, and she looms large if able to carve out a sensible trip from the widest post. Victor Espinoza comes along to retain the mount.
Apple Blossom Wagers
- $15 Win and Place: #5 Point of Honor ($30)
- $3 Exacta Key Box: 5 with 4,6,12,14 ($24)