04/10/2012 4:13PM

Oaklawn: Plum Pretty heads five in Apple Blossom

Barbara D. Livingston
Plum Pretty has been pointed for the Apple Blossom since her fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty flew into Arkansas from her Southern California base Tuesday morning, and not long afterward drew post 5 in a field of five for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. She will be the 117-pound starting highweight in Friday’s race following the defection of Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.

The Apple Blossom, for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, will share a card with the $100,000 Instant Racing, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies that drew 12. The stakes are part of the Racing Festival of the South, when Oaklawn cards at least one major stakes a day over the final week of its meet. In all, nine stakes worth $2.8 million will be run here through Saturday.

The Apple Blossom will be Plum Pretty’s first start since closing out her 3-year-old season with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

“We wanted to freshen her up and get her ready for this year,” said Bob Baffert, who trains Plum Pretty for Peachtree Stables. “We were pointing for this race all along.”

Plum Pretty, who in addition to the Kentucky Oaks won last year’s Grade 2 Cotillion and $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, is to be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.

The complete Apple Blossom field from the rail with riders and weights is Tiz Miz Sue, Joe Rocco, Jr., 115; Holy Heavens, Ramon Vazquez, 111; Absinthe Minded, Terry Thompson, 114; Twelve Twenty Two, Calvin Borel, 113; and Plum Pretty.

Tiz Miz Sue and Holy Heavens were also entered in the $100,000 Redbud, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares which runs Thursday at Oaklawn. Steve Hobby, who trains Tiz Miz Sue, said the mare would be scratched from the Redbud.

“We’re running in the Apple Blossom,” Hobby said following the draw Tuesday.

Tiz Miz Sue won the local prep for the race, the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri, on March 17.

The Apple Blossom will go as the 10th race on an 11-race card, with a scheduled post of 6:04 p.m. Central. Forecasters are calling for a high of 76 degrees and scattered thunderstorms, according to weather.com. HRTV will be onsite Friday, with a broadcast team of Zoe Cadman, Jeff Siegel, and Aaron Vercruysse, said producer Becky Witzman.

Plum Pretty arrived aboard a Tuesday flight carrying six other starters for festival races, including Bodemeister and Secret Circle, who are Baffert’s candidates for the Arkansas Derby on Saturday.

Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), Post Time: 6:04 CT Friday

Purse: $500,000; 1 1/6 mile





ML Odds


Tiz Miz Sue

S. Hobby

J. Rocco, Jr.



Holy Heavens

J. Martin

R. Vasquez



Absinthe Minded

D. Lukas

T. Thompson



Twelve Twenty Two

H. Dominguez

C. Borel



Plum Pretty

B. Baffert

R. Bejarano



Kristi Leonard More than 1 year ago
Im puttin my money on Tiz Miz Sue. She's due!
Jay More than 1 year ago
Love Payton. Had her in the Black Eyed Susan.
Ben D'Antonio More than 1 year ago
I have to wonder if the connections feel that Havre de Grace is not quite as good this year as she was last year. I think both the older male and older female divisions will be deeper this year and she's going to have a tough go of it either way. You have to wonder if Porter and Jones are doing the right thing to get her prepared for the foes she will likely have to face at some point this year.
B More than 1 year ago
No wonder Havre de Grace passed this field. Full of champions, ain't it?
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Good one brother lol I hate the connections of HDG well I'm not gonna say hate I just dislike how they go on and on about how good she is but yet she ducking a horse that hasn't run since nov and not the best of fillies or mares in training but ok because of weight...it's sad for horse racing they skip the only grade 1 of the spring besides San margarita stakes over a few pounds well I wo der if she will ever run if awesome Maria, awesome feather or royal delta runs they will miss the whole season lol
Michael Pressley More than 1 year ago
How many horses do you own and race? Have you ever owned a horse in the league of HDG?
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
have you? in the league of HDG????? what league is that ? minor leagues?..she is 3 time grade 1 winner and that is all, and one of those was in a 4 horse field at belmont last year...she is the most overrated horse of the last decade....name the horses you oqn and race too...since you are BIGTIME..
Michael Pressley More than 1 year ago
Wildcat Bettie B (Grade I and III winner, Josh's Madelyn (Grade II winner), Ruby's Reception (Grade II winner), LesRyLeigh (Stakes Winner and GII place and Payton d'Oro (Grade II winner). Your turn.