I'm a Chatterbox could be back in time for Apple Blossom
The $600,000 Apple Blossom H. (G1) for older fillies and mares April 15 at Oaklawn Park is being targeted by I'm a Chatterbox, runner-up for an Eclipse Award as champion three-year-old filly last year, and multiple stakes winner Cassatt, trainer Larry Jones said.
Jones said he would probably run only one of the two in the 1 1/16 Apple Blossom, a race he won in 2011 with Horse of the Year Havre de Grace. Both horses are based at Fair Grounds, with I'm a Chatterbox up to three-furlong workouts following an unplaced finish in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) October 30 at Keeneland to close her 2015 campaign.
"She's just now back to breezing, but she runs very well fresh," Jones said.
I'm a Chatterbox opened 2015 with an eight-length victory in the $125,000 Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds and was disqualified from a nose victory in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) July 26 at Saratoga. The Coaching Club American Oaks was I'm a Chatterbox's first start since a third-place finish in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 1 at Churchill Downs.
"She runs good fresh, so we're not so much worried about having to have a prep," Jones said.
Jones said he doesn't anticipate I'm a Chatterbox or Cassatt running in the $350,000 Azeri (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn, the final major local prep for the Apple Blossom.
"Probably only one would come," Jones said of the Apple Blossom. "We'll just see who is the highest caliber at that time."
I'm a Chatterbox has a 5-2-2 record from 11 lifetime starts and earnings of $1,304,614. She scored her biggest career victory in the $1 million Cotillion (G1) September 19 at Parx.
Cassatt has a 7-1-1 record from 13 career starts and earnings of $709,233. In her last start, Cassatt finished third in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3) January 30 at Sam Houston after winning the race in 2015. She is entered in Saturday's $50,000 Jersey Lilly at Sam Houston.
Jones said he expects more Fair Grounds-based horses to be hitting the road over the next 45 days for the Apple Blossom.
"There's four or five really good mares sitting in New Orleans, and they're all probably going to be here for the Apple Blossom," Jones said. "We may as well just get a van ready and throw everybody on there and save some hauling."