03/31/2009 12:00AM

Proud Spell to miss Apple Blossom


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Proud Spell is out of the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on Saturday after her trainer, Larry Jones, discovered some swelling in her left hind ankle Monday night. She had been scheduled to have a key work for the race Tuesday morning, but instead will ship to Jones's barn at Keeneland.

"We're hoping it's just an infection in there," he said Tuesday morning. "She's got a little bit of a mark on her. Like I said, we're hoping it's just an infection because it's come up all at once.

"But we'll get her up to my barn at Keeneland, and that way if we need to run her up to the clinic we can."

Proud Spell, the winner of last year's Kentucky Oaks, was co-highweighted at 120 pounds with Acoma for the Apple Blossom. Acoma now figures to start as a heavy favorite for the 1 1/16-mile race, which is also expected to draw Seventh Street.