Lady Apple records third Grade 3 victory
The victory provides her with a third success at this level having already taken the Fantasy Stakes and Iowa Oaks this year, and she battled hard in the stretch to record her sixth overall career success. The daughter of Curlin was sent off as the favourite against three quality rivals and jockey Ricardo Santana Junior put in a master class of sensible, confident riding to make sure the three-year-old stayed clear of trouble. Drawn widest of all the rider kept the partnership on the outside throughout the mile and sixteenth trip as the quartet of runners stayed tightly packed in the early stages. Down the back straight, it quickly became apparent that Lady Apple and main market rival, Gold Standard, were destined to fight out the finish and so it proved.
Reaching the top of the stretch, the duelling duo eased clear of the other two runners and treated the Remington Park crowd to a thrilling finish. Locked almost stride for stride the rivals came close together, looking each other in the eye, but Lady Apple showed her customary determination to outbattle her foe and win by half a length.
“She’s a really amazing filly,” said a delighted Santana Jr, who was celebrating his sixth win of the day. “Today, she travelled well and was feeling comfortable where we were. She’s a filly that always gives you everything in a race and today she proved a lot.
“She loves to fight, and as soon as she felt the filly (Gold Standard) inside of her, she kicked on. I had a lot of confidence in my filly; I knew she was going to give me everything she had”
The victory in the Remington Park Oaks saw Steve Asmussen break his record of most wins during one race day at the Oklahoma track but rather than turn the spotlight on himself he was full of praise for the runner that put him, once again, in the history books.
“She’s a quality filly,” said Asmussen “This was a very good win for her today against a nice group of horses. With the Curlins always seeming to get better with age, we certainly look forward to the future.”
With a placed effort in the Kentucky Oaks also already on the resume this year, wherever she turns up next her connections will be hopeful she can continue a stellar 2019.