04/06/2013 2:20PM

Oaklawn: Apple Blossom trio of candidates breeze

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Tiz Miz Sue, shown winning the Azeri Stakes, had an easy half-mile breeze on Saturday in which she went her final quarter in 22.80 seconds.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Tiz Miz Sue, Don’t Tell Sophia, and On Fire Baby all worked within minutes of each other Saturday at Oaklawn in preparation for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares will be run Friday as part of the weeklong Racing Festival of the South.

Tiz Miz Sue, winner of last month’s Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri under regular rider Joe Rocco Jr., went a half-mile in an effortless 50.60 seconds on a fast track, with clockers catching her final quarter-mile in 22.80 seconds.

“She’s ready to roll,” said trainer Steve Hobby. “She’s fit. We just put a little air in her.”

Tiz Miz Sue worked under William Hollick, assistant to Hobby. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.

Don’t Tell Sophia, a two-time stakes winner this meet at Oaklawn, was credited with a five-furlong breeze in 1:02. Clockers carried her through fractions of 13 seconds for her opening eighth of a mile, 25 seconds for the first quarter, 37.60 for three furlongs, and galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.20. Her final quarter was in 24.40.

“Today was just to put a little air in her,” said Phil Sims, who trains Don’t Tell Sophia. “It was kind of a maintenance work.”

Eddie Martin Jr., was aboard Don’t Tell Sophia, who wore a nasal strip for the drill. Her regular rider, Robby Albarado, is at Keeneland, but will be in for the mount in the Apple Blossom.

On Fire Baby, a multiple Grade 2 winner who will be making her first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont on May 28, breezed seven furlongs in 1:30.40.

“No speed, all endurance,” said Gary Hartlage, who trains On Fire Baby. “That’s all we’ve wanted to do, miles and miles, distance and distance.”

Hartlage said he had On Fire Baby’s final eighth of a mile in 12 seconds, and galloping out a mile in 1:42.40.

Apple Blossom weights were released Saturday. Grace Hall, who is expected to start, was co-highweighted with More Chocolate at 118 pounds. Summer Applause, another probable, was weighted at 117 along with Tiz Miz Sue. Don’t Tell Sophia is at 116 and On Fire Baby, 115. She’s All In, at 114, is possible but is also under consideration for the Sixty Sails at Hawthorne, said her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

Blinkers on for Atigun

Atigun will add blinkers for the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on Saturday, April 13, said trainer Ken McPeek. The horse is to be ridden by John Velazquez. 

Atigun worked in the equipment Saturday, when he breezed in company with fellow Oaklawn Handicap starter Unstoppable U. The pair was credited with a five-furlong move in 1:01.40.

“It was a nice work, they finished in 23 and change,” McPeek said of the final quarter.  “All is well.”

Victor Lebron has the mount on Unstoppable U.

* Fort Larned and Game On Dude have been co-highweighted at 123 pounds for the Oaklawn Handicap. Fort Larned is probable for the race.