The Apple Blossom Handicap – Grade I
1 1/16 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $700.00 Filly & Mare 4 Year Olds And Up.
1st Toleration Mb Stables Velazquez J R 1:41.60
Handicaps at HRP can be a bit of a form minefield as a few pounds seems to equate to about 4 or 5 HRP lengths. I said in the review that bottom weight and a 1.36 and 2 work would give this one a much better chance than she should have with the recent form she had on the board and so it proved. Stalking the lead she stayed on strongly to win by a half length holding the challengers a shade comfortably. If running this filly in sprints since october was a long term plan to win this race then i applaud the trainer for the foresight.
2nd The Reaper John Henry Albarado R J 1:41.73
This was a much better effort by the former KYO winner keeping on strongly for second and she may have just bought some time before she gets retired to motherhood.
3rd Down And Out Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 1:41.83
Another runner from the stable that lacked the recent form to win this but was well placed in a handicap with a 1.36 and 2 work last month. She ran on really nicely for third and i doubt we will see her in a TAM sprint again for a while.
4th Queenwood Smokey Stover Bejarano R 1:42.01
What a shot stopper weight is here at HRP as this former grade one winner could find nothing under top weight after chasing the leaders throughout.