04/07/2013 1:52PM

Oaklawn: Grace Hall heads seven-horse field for Apple Blossom

Tom Keyser
Grace Hall will seek her fifth career graded stakes win in Friday's Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark .- Grace Hall will be seeking the fifth graded stakes win of her career on Friday, when she breaks from post 2 in the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. She was one of seven fillies and mares entered in the 1 1/16-mile race on Sunday.

The Apple Blossom will share a card with the $75,000 Instant Racing for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. The races are part of the Racing Festival of the South, when Oaklawn puts on at least one major stakes a day over the final four dates of its meet that closes on Saturday with the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby. The eight festival stakes are worth a cumulative $2,925,000.

Grace Hall is the 118-pound highweight in the Apple Blossom, which will be her second start of the year following a third-place finish to Royal Delta in the Grade 3 Sabin on Feb. 17 at Gulfstream Park. In her final prep for the Apple Blossom, the Tony Dutrow-trained Grace Hall worked a bullet half-mile in 47.09 seconds at Palm Meadows on Saturday.

Joel Rosario has the mount on Grace Hall, a 4-year-old who races for Alpha Delta Stables. Earlier in her career, the filly won the Grade 1 Spinaway, the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks, the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, and the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks. Grace Hall is scheduled to fly in from Florida on Monday.

The complete Apple Blossom field from the rail with riders and weights is Tiz Miz Sue, Joe Rocco Jr., 117 pounds; Grace Hall; Don’t Tell Sophia, Robby Albarado, 116; Summer Applause, Rajiv Maragh, 117; She’s All In, Luis Quinonez, 114; On Fire Baby, Joe Johnson, 115; and Bryan’s Jewel, Derek Bell, 112.

Summer Applause, the winner of the Grade 2 Top Flight at Aqueduct in her last start March 2, worked a bullet half-mile in 47.55 seconds Sunday at Palm Meadows. The move was the fastest of 34 at the distance. Chad Brown trains Summer Applause, who is also expected to arrive Monday on the flight from Florida.

Bryan’s Jewel is cross-entered in the $100,000 Carousel, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares to be run Thursday at Oaklawn. She was a recent allowance winner for trainer Mac Robertson. She’s All In is not definite to start in the Apple Blossom as she remains under consideration for the Grade 3, $200,000 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne on April 20, according to her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel.

The Apple Blossom will go as the 10th race on an 11-race program, with the race to have an approximate post of 6:16 p.m. Central. The forecast for Friday is for partly cloudy skies and a high of 68 degrees, according to weather.com. HRTV is scheduled to be onsite Friday at Oaklawn, while a live call of the race is to be on the Horse Racing Radio Network, according to Oaklawn spokesperson Jennifer Hoyt.

The field for the Arkansas Derby will be drawn on Wednesday.