Stellar Wind blows into Oaklawn for Apple Blossom
Preview: USA, Friday 11.10pm BST
Oaklawn Park: Apple Blossom Hcap (Grade 1) 1m½f | dirt | 4yo+ f/m
Stellar Wind (John Sadler/Victor Espinoza), who beat champion mare Beholder twice last year, begins her five-year-old campaign in this $600,000 event, won twice by the great Zenyatta in recent seasons.
Named champion three-year-old filly in 2015, the daughter of Curlin hasn't run since coming fourth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, a race in which she was also second two seasons ago.
She breaks from gate three as she concedes a few pounds to five rivals headed course specialist Terra Promessa (Steve Asmussen/Jose Ortiz), a five-time winner at Oaklawn, and Streamline (Brian Williamson/Chris Landeros), who won the Grade 2 prep for this. She was also runner-up in last year's Apple Blossom.
Also on Friday
Keeneland: Maker's 46 Mile (Grade 1) 1m | turf | 4yo+ (10.30pm BST, live on ATR)
There could be a hot pace battle here with front-running veterans What A View (Kenny Black/Tyler Baze) and last year's runner-up Heart To Heart (Bryan Lynch/Julien Leparoux) among leading fancies in a double-figure field. The latter is still awaiting his first success at the top level, despite winning eight Graded stakes in a long career.