Millionaire Grade 1 winner Street Band is scheduled to work Monday or Tuesday in advance of a scheduled start in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares April 18, trainer Larry Jones said Saturday morning.
Street Band will be breezing for the first time since finishing fourth, beaten 8 ¼ lengths by Serengeti Empress, in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 14, the final major local prep for the Apple Blossom. The Azeri, run over a sloppy, sealed surface, continued Street Band’s pattern of following up a strong performance with a disappointing one, Jones said.
Among the country’s leading 3-year-old fillies of 2019, Street Band won the $400,000 Fair Grounds (G2), then finished sixth in the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), won the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3), then finished third in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) and won the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) before finishing eighth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
“She does not prefer the mud track and it was also the every-other race that was her time to throw a bad race,” Jones said. “So, if that was her bad race, it will be very similar to the Alabama, when she came out of it and won the Cotillion. We’re right on Street Band’s schedule. It may not be Larry’s schedule, but, apparently, it’s Street Band’s schedule.”
Jones said Sophie Doyle, Street Band’s regular rider, is scheduled to have the mount for the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom, one of the country’s most prestigious two-turn events for older fillies and mares.
Jones saddled Havre de Grace to win the 2011 Apple Blossom, one of her five stakes victories that year en route to Horse of the Year honors. She won the Azeri in her seasonal debut.