Apple Blossom will be another premier event waiting to cast all top four year and older fillies and mares while the season is already preoccupied showcasing the top three year olds in the Triple Crown prep races. To take some time off from the inevitable Triple Crown noise, let’s have a look at the top probable fillies slated to start in the Apple Blossom Handicap not more than a week away from us.
Havre de Grace, the super filly from last season, was awarded the Horse of the Year award in 2011 and also the Champion Older Female Horse. The filly is conditioned by Larry Jones and runs in the silks of Fox Hill Farms. The Saint Liam filly has already won the Apple Blossom Handicap last year and is once again pegging the winner’s circle for a consecutive win. Havre de Grace has earlier exhibited strong racing skills especially at the Breeder’s Classic where she was directed against a field of handpicked speedster thoroughbred males and she finished a neat fourth. She has a host of graded stakes’ wins to her credit, including the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, Grade 3 Azeri Stakes, Grade 1 Woodward Stakes and the New Orleans Ladies Stakes that she recently won last month.
Plum Pretty belongs to the same brigade as does Royal Delta and It’s Tricky. The three fillies may not have competed aggressively but Plum Pretty has put up a decent show with three wins at the Grade2 Cotillion Stakes, Grade1 Kentucky Derby and the Sunland Park Oaks. Her last start was the Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Ladies Classic where she managed to pull a fifth though she struggled to keep up the pace finishing more than five lengths behind the race lead. Trained by top notch trainer, Bob Baffert, Plum Pretty is now set for the Apple Blossom Handicap as a four year old starter.
Absinthe Minded is also set to start in the race after having faired not too well in her last start, the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes. The Quiet American filly finished third in previous year’s Apple Blossom with Havre de Grace winning it.
Also expected to start in the race is Cresran LLC owned, Steve Hobby trained, Tiz Miz Sue who won her last start, the Azeri Stakes this March. The filly has 6 wins from her 23 starts and will be racing in the Apple Blossom Handicap for the first time. Her previous wins primarily include allowance races and ungraded events, her only graded win being the Azeri.
The fillies have come a long way in the metamorphosis that has evolved them into strong contenders transcending from purely filly races into general male/female races where they take down entire fields of stronger male counterparts.
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