Review of Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on April 14

Sunday’s Apple Blossom Handicap (GI) features a rematch between finishers Midnight Bisou and Elate. The two favorites look strong again but Escape Clause could give them a scare as the possible controlling speed.

The field consist of five graded stakes winners, two Grade I winners, and a two-time Canadian classic winner are among the entrants.

Race 8. Apple Blossom Handicap (GI). For four -year-old fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Purse $750,000.  

PP Filly / Mare Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Elate Jose Ortiz William Mott 6/5
2 Chocolate Martini Jermaine Bridgmohan Thomas Amoss 15/1
3 Escape Clause Tyler Baze Don Schnell 5/1
4 Viva Forever Walter De La Cruz Peter Walder 30/1
5 Wonder Gadot David Cohen Mark Casse 6/1
6 Midnight Bisou Mike Smith Steve Asmussen 7/5

Elate was second as the even-money top choice in the Azeri Stakes, but that was her first start in more than six months. She should be ready and enjoy the distance. She will be sitting behind the pace until the final turn. She should finish in top two. 

Midnight Bisou ran her record to 6-for-6 at a mile and a sixteenth with a solid off-the-pace score in the Azeri. She will be running with Elate down the back stretch. She likes a fast to stalk but this race will have a very slow pace and she will be forces to move earlier than normal. She has won both of her starts this year with a slow pace. She should finish in the top two. 

Escape Clause had a record-setting stakes run on March 24 at Sunland Park. She will be forwardly placed and is a very versatile. She will be forcing the pace until the turn for home. She should finish on the board. 

Chocolate Martini recently won an allowance optional claiming race. She was the 3-2 favorite at this distance on Feb. 24. She has recorded two bullets and will passes horse down the lane. She won the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) last year and ran third in the Summertime Oaks (G2) and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).  She should finish on the board. 

Viva Forever ran second in the $50,000 Lady Bird Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 18. She was nowhere in her last two graded attempts including a 12-length defeat in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3), a race won by Midnight Bisou. Class is not at this level and should not be a factor at the wire. She will collect an nice check for her afternoon workout.

Wonder Gadot is only 1-for-11 on fast dirt and recently lost as the favorite in a local allowance optional claiming return March 8. She need to return to her  sophomore level of running to have a chance in this race. She must improve to threaten these but do not see her being a factor against this field. She will collect an nice check for her afternoon workout.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Midnight Bisou
  • Elate
  • Escape Clause

 

 

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