Plum Pretty got her 2012 campaign off to a great start and her trainer Bob Baffert continued his torrid streak at Oaklawn Park on April 13 when Peachtree Stable's 4-year-old filly romped by 2 1/4-lengths in the $500,000 Apple Blossom H.
Sent off the 1-2 favorite, Plum Pretty broke in second place going into the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile contest. Rafael Bejarano sent his mount to contest the lead going into the far turn, then simply had too much class for the field as the margin increased through the stretch. The final time was 1:42.64 under a hand ride in the final sixteenth of a mile.
“We had some anxious moments at the start but once he got her into gear she just dragged him around there,” Baffert said via phone from his home base in California. “She’s always been sort of a big filly but her frame is filling out and it was great to get her back and get a win in there. I don’t know (where her next start will be); she comes home Sunday and as soon as she tips me off that she’s ready to run again, we’ll find a spot for her.”
“She felt really, really good,” Bejarano said. “I missed the first jump a little bit. She kind of came away from there on the wrong foot, but I think about it and it was the best thing that happened. If she had fired out of there, she might have gone up there head and head with that other filly. I saw the other filly get sent and that was good for me. She was great relaxing and after a half-mile I felt in total control. She was ready to go when I asked her.”
Plum Pretty easily in the G1 Apple Blossom
The Apple Blossom was the first start in five months for Plum Pretty, who figures to battle for older filly and mare championship honors this season. She has now earned $1,656,700 with a record of 5-2-2 in 11 starts.
Plum Pretty's win was Baffert's fifth straight graded stakes victory this year at Oaklawn, with two chances at continuing the streak in tomorrow's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby with either Bodemeister or Secret Circle.