Havre De Grace vs. Switch in Apple Blossom

Impressive Azeri Stakes (G3) winner Havre De Grace squares off against West Coast invader Switch in Friday's Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oklawn Park.

Havre De Grace made a name for herself battling Blind Luck in the 3-year-old filly division last year. The consistent daughter of Saint Liam was trained by Tony Dutrow in 2010 and made a triumphant return for new trainer Larry Jones in the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 19. Ramon Dominguez has the return call.

Switch jumped on the national stage when she defeated Blind Luck in the Hollywood Oaks (G2) last summer. She turned heads and gave Zenyatta a scare in the Lady's Secret (G1) last fall and followed that stellar effort with a place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). She won back-to-back grade one extended sprints at Santa Anita in December and January and just missed in the Santa Margarita (G1) at that venue March 12. She is firing Hollywood Park bullets for this and Joel Rosario takes his usual seat aboard the John Sadler trainee.

Miss Match upset Switch in the Santa Margarita and she needed every inch of the nine furlong distance to get by. Today's shorter trip does her no favors and she needs a pace meltdown to win this.

Absinthe Minded is the inside speed for Wayne Lukas. The 4-year-old filly set the pace and held the show in the Azeri and will take them as far as she can under Terry Thompson.

Belle Watling rounds out the compact field. The 5-year-old mare was a beast in Chile but has not had much success in her first two outings in this country. The long winded sort might find this trip a bit sharp.

The eight and one-half furlong Apple Blossom Handicap goes as the 10th race at Oaklawn Park on Friday, April 15.  



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Older Comments about Havre De Grace vs. Switch in Apple Blossom...

they will push each other i think. but i won't get to see it till it's online.
Switch is dangerous over 8.5 furlongs, but Jones at Oaklawn with a monster filly will be hard to beat.
yeah this is swtch is distance, she is a major threat.
Wish Blind Luck would have come...Have to give the edge to Grace. I agree Switch is more dangerous a little shorter. Both are becoming monsters though.
This may be one of the few times that Grace and Switch step foot on the track with each other. The connections of Grace are looking for a championship campaign routing and Switches people are looking for 7-8.5f races for her, so basically elongated sprints. Switch is not a router as seen by her struggles to cover a route of ground. Larry’s Jones filly scared away the likes of Blind Luck, Unrivaled Belle, Life at Ten, Vision in Gold and Evening Jewel, and this left what was to be a hotly contested race with only 5 competitors, but I look forward to down the road when they are pitted against each other in races like the Ogden Phipps, Personal Ensign, Beldame and Ruffian. Grace should handle this group handily by open lengths but the challenge presented by Switch at this lengthy sprint distance should make for excitement.
Yay a speed duel. This ought to be fun. Havre de Grace will win it though. Jones is a master and this filly has matured into a monster.
Grace by 5 lengths.

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