Letruska is one of the four Grade 1 winners from a field that includes five horses. Letruska will be competing in Saturday’s $1 Million Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
Letruska, the defending champion in the Grade 1 race, won a thrilling victory over Monomoy Girl to win the Eclipse Award for the Champion Older Dirt Female. The 6-year-old Super Saver daughter won the Grade 3 Royal Delta race at Gulfstream Park with ease in her first start of the year.
Ce Ce also took home a championship last year, as the outstanding sprinting female, but is 2-for-2 at the 1 1/16 mile distance at Oaklawn Park. Those two local victories came in the 2020 edition of the Apple Blossom and last month’s Grade 2 Azeri Stakes.
Clairiere, a regally-bred filly, will make her second season’s start for Steve Asmussen. The Grade 1 winning daughter of Curlin crushed allowance competition at Fair Grounds on March 15.
Maracuja was the fourth winner of Grade 1. Maracuja’s credentials aren’t as impressive as the others, but she beat champion Malathaat and Clairiere last summer at Saratoga’s Coaching Club American Oaks. Her return was won by Honor Code’s filly, who finished in Oaklawn’s allowance race on April 1.
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Apple Blossom Predictions and Race Analysis
Despite the presence of three other Grade 1 winning females in the field, I am finding it very hard to look past the returning champion. Although we know she can beat anyone, her win in the Breeders Cup Distaff was a clear indication of that, it also came as she attempted to push the pace at ridiculously early fractions.
Saturday’s scenario will be quite the opposite. Much like her season debut, she should not have any trouble controlling the proceedings in the Apple Blossom. Although I am certain that Clairiere and Ce Ce, two classy mares, will attempt to challenge her at the stretch as well, it only makes them less competitive.
It’s worth looking to see if the favorite is beaten. But sometimes, the smart money goes with the chalk. She is my pick. Her top choice.
That was a very impressive return to the races she made last month in New Orleans, after finishing off last year in solid fashion. You would think that Curlin’s daughter is enjoying a great year. Saturday may be her first championship season.
It might, but I’m not yet ready to choose her over Letruska. At the very least, in the field with no other legitimate speed. Ce Ce or her, or both, will most likely try to get after Letruska on Saturday. That could limit both their chances of winning.
I believe this one will win more Grade 1 wins in the future but this is not the place to beat Letruska.
Ce Ce There is much to love about Ce Ce. She is a champion and earner of over $2 million in a career which has seen her win 9-of-18 lifetime. Oaklawn Park is her only win, where she has two excellent wins. She’s also unbeaten. However, this race setup will not be in her favor.
She has enough speed to chase Letruska early on, but it isn’t her most exciting game. She has been at her best when she was able to relax and then take control of the turn. Because of Letruska’s intimidating speed, I do not expect this to occur in Here.
If she’s used early and trying to keep close to Letruska she won’t have the powerful kick she has had in many big races. She is not right for me, although I do respect her.
While the other three Grade 1 winners in the field are among the most recognized racing mares in the nation, this daughter of Honor Code has yet to earn that kind of respect. She still proved her worth with the big win at Coaching Club American Oaks, which she won over Malathaat & Clairiere.
It’s worth noting, however that her win was in such a small field. She deserves to be here after her win at the track.
She’s not the best but she offers value.
The longshot of the field, this 6-year-old daughter of Maclean’s Music was a star at Assiniboia Downs the last two years, but unfortunately her eight stakes wins at the Winnipeg oval have not translated down to the U.S.
She is a nice mare who has won 14 times in her career, but is the obvious outsider against this field of Grade 1 winners. Although her speed and tactical ability may keep her on the track early, I don’t think she will pose a problem when the actual running starts.
How to Watch the Apple Blossom
Apple Blossom Information What Apple Blossom (Grade 1) Where Oaklawn Park When Saturday, April 23 — 3: 18pm Eastern time How to Watch TVG Purse $1,000,000