Oaklawn news: Apple Blossom still an option for Wonder Gadot

Oaklawn Barn Notes
March 13, 2019 05:10pm
Oaklawn news: Apple Blossom still an option for Wonder Gadot
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

The $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 14 for older fillies and mares remains on the table for 2018 Queen’s Plate winner Wonder Gadot following a runner-up finish in her 4-year-old debut, trainer Mark Casse said.

Making her first start since the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, Wonder Gadot was beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Go Google Yourself in a 1-mile allowance race Friday.

“I was OK with her,” Casse said. “In all honesty, I probably rushed her a little bit to that race. One, you don’t get the opportunity to get an allowance race that often, so you have to take them when they give them to you. So, you have to play the cards that are dealt.

"But I wanted to get a race into her before the Apple Blossom. For that reason, I thought it went well. She had a big, strong gallop out after the race.”

Wonder Gadot is a finalist for a Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion 3-year-old filly after beating males in the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, including the Queen’s Plate. She also finished second in the Kentucky Oaks and Oaklawn’s Fantasy Stakes (G3) last year. 


The Leaders


Through Sunday, the 27th day of the scheduled 57-day meeting, six-time defending champion Ricardo Santana Jr. held a 33-32 lead over David Cohen in the race for leading jockey. Santana also topped all riders in purse earnings ($1,690,351).


Santana didn’t ride Sunday because he was serving the first day of a three-day suspension for an incident at the top of the stretch in the first race March 3. Santana is scheduled to resume riding Saturday. Cohen ($1,078,983) was the only other jockey to have reached $1 million in purse earnings at the meet through Sunday.


Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen led all trainers with 23 victories, five more than Robertino Diodoro. Asmussen is seeking his fourth consecutive local title and 10th since 2007. Asmussen was also No. 1 in purse earnings ($1,613,815).


M and M Racing (Mike and Mickala Sisk) led all owners with 26 victories. Danny Caldwell, Oaklawn’s leading owner in 2014-2017, was second with 13. M and M was also No. 1 in purse earnings ($710,667). M and M won 21 races last year at Oaklawn to capture its first career owner’s title and has also surpassed its purse earnings from the 2018 meet ($671,919).


Finish Lines 


Arkansas-bred standout Hoonani Road worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 after the renovation break Wednesday morning for trainer Wayne Catalano, who said the gelding is pointing for the $100,000 Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes March 23. … Unbeaten Tiger Bait (2-for-2 at the meeting) is being pointed for the $100,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for 3-year-old Arkansas-bred fillies April 20, owner Staton Flurry of Hot Springs said. … Apprentice jockey Kelsi Harr recorded her second career Oaklawn victory in Sunday’s fifth race aboard Bandit Point ($16.80). Harr is a longtime exercise rider for trainer Al Cates of Hot Springs.


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