Champions clash in stellar Apple Blossom
The much-anticipated meeting of multiple champion #6 Monomoy Girl (1-1) and reigning sophomore champ #2 Swiss Skydiver (2-1) will take place on Saturday at Oaklawn Park in the $1 million Apple Blossom H. (G1). A total cast of six fillies and mares will contest the 1 1/16-mile affair, and while it could easily turn into a match race late with the pair of standout ladies, I will nonetheless profile each contender in the feature event of the weekend.
#1 Another Broad (10-1) is a one-run closer who is winless dating back to 2019. Include mare is searching for a Grade 1 placing, and she might be able to get up for one if the pace is as sharp as expected.
#4 Chance to Shine (20-1) has never shown that she can run with this caliber of horses, and the Hartman trainee would be a monumental surprise in the Apple Blossom.
The Exotics Players
#3 Letruska (4-1) possesses a lot of class and had a fine prep for Saturday with a big runner-up showing in the Azeri S. (G2) last time out. Mexican champion is very swift but has proven to be capable of rating some in her last two performances, as well. She is the main threat to the top duo under Irad.
#5 Getridofwhatailesu (6-1) comes in as the less ballyhooed Brad Cox pupil, but the Ghostzapper mare has been very consistent in her eight-race career. Pippin S. queen finished a creditable third in the Azeri on the oval, and she could make the frame with another move forward beneath Arrieta.
The Big Two
Swiss Skydiver was an impressive winner of the Beholder Mile S. (G1) in her four-year-old debut for McPeek. The classic-winning Daredevil filly draws close to the rail and seems to be coming up to another big performance. Kentucky-bred chestnut is versatile to excel with any kind of trip, and she will be saving more ground than her main foe along the backside under Albarado. With that said, she will be doing the dirty work dueling with Letruska early on, and it might take its toll inside the final yards of the affair.
The brilliant Monomoy Girl is not always the flashiest of winners, but the mare simply wins nearly every time she steps on the track. Her 16-14-2-0 lifetime mark speaks for itself, and the Tapizar six-year-old surely looked comfortable on the surface in her Bayakoa S. (G3) waltz here in February. The future Hall of Fame inductee has carried impeccable form for years and is training like she is ready to deliver her best under regular guide Geroux.
No matter who comes out on top in the Saturday showdown, we as racing fans should be thankful that both of these superstars have been kept in training for 2021. Kudos to the ownership of each horse for their sporting nature.
I have a huge amount of respect for both of the favored stars, but siding against Monomoy Girl simply seems like a futile endeavor. The chestnut gets the nod, in part, to drawing perfectly on the outside. With the two main contenders inside of her, the mare will be able to be placed in an ideal spot to pounce throughout the event.
Long live the queen!