Horse of the Year Havre de Grace tuned up for a possible defense of her 2011 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) title with a five furlong breeze in 1:02 1/5 under jockey Jenna Joubert. The daughter of Saint Liam was assigned top weight of 123 pounds for the April 13 event.
Trainer Larry Jones said that the work was a little slower than they had wanted and he would now confer with owner Rick Porter before making a final decision.
“It was a good work, but slower than Larry wanted,” said Joubert, who also was Havre de Grace’s regular work rider last winter. “That’s just her. She just gets here and gets very relaxed. I’ve been jogging her all week and I can tell she’s very fresh. She galloped out super. She’s a more forward horse this year and I think she’s even bigger."
Jones, who was not in town for the work, reported that his wife Cindy said Havre de Grace was hardly blowing after the work and didn’t drink any water.
Should she start at 123 pounds in the Apple Blossom, Havre de Grace would concede between six and 11 pounds to her expected competition.
Havre de Grace was also assigned 118 pounds for the $400,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) against males. The Oaklawn Handicap is the day after the Apple Blossom.