The Grade I, $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap for older fillies and mares is the Saturday feature at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16th-mile event drew an accomplished field of 14 from across the country. Post time for the Apple Blossom, Race 10 of 11 on a card that also includes the Grade III Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, is 6:16 p.m. ET.
#13 LADY APPLE (15-1) is capable of turning the tables on SERENGETI EMPRESS if the track comes up fast on Saturday. She was a distant fifth behind that foe in the Azeri Stakes last time out, but over a sloppy track. LADY APPLE had won each of her last three starts before that, all Grade IIIs on fast dirt, including her half-length victory over SERENGETI EMPRESS in the Houston Ladies Classic earlier this year. LADY APPLE, 4-3-0-0 all-time at Oaklawn, has Ricardo Santana Jr. in the irons for trainer Steve Asmussen.
#14 CE CE (7-2) was last seen conquering the Grade I Beholder at Santa Anita Park last month. She drew poorly in the Apple Blossom, but if she replicates her Beholder effort on Saturday it may not matter. CE CE will be ridden by Victor Espinoza once more.
#11 SERENGETI EMPRESS (4-1) can get brave if left alone early, (see both her 2020 Azeri and 2019 Kentucky Oaks victories), but #10 COOKIE DOUGH (10-1) and #4 COME DANCING (3-1, morning-line favorite) are unlikely to sit back and let her set slow fractions. SERENGETI EMPRESS, to be ridden by Joe Talamo, may not offer value if bet strongly off her recent sloppy-track score.
#12 GO GOOGLE YOURSELF (12-1), winner of February’s Grade III Bayakoa at Oaklawn, steps up in Saturday’s Apple Blossom. Despite this tougher assignment, she’s very likeable as she continues to improve at age five. GO GOOGLE YOURSELF, who will have Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard, has won three of her last four stakes efforts.
#5 POINT OF HONOR (10-1) used a seven-furlong handicap at Tampa to prep for this, and old-school gambit by George Weaver. She didn’t win but was a respectable second, as was the case in the Grade I CCA Oaks and Grade I Alabama at Saratoga last summer. The 2019 Black-Eyed Susan winner will be ridden by Drayden Van Dyke.
The play: $4 exacta 13/5,11,12,14, $4 exacta 14/13 ($20)
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