Darley Stable’s Seventh Street broke to an early lead and never looked back, coasting to a dominating 5 3/4-length victory in the $490,00 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) (VIDEO) April 4 at Oaklawn Park. Odds-on favorite Acoma, a winner of three straight graded stakes, finished a well-beaten third.
Under the handling of Rajiv Maragh, 4-year-old Seventh Street was allowed to get away with soft fractions in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom, which went to post with a field of only five. The daughter of Street Cry posted splits of :24.18, :48.15, and 1:12.28. Superior Storm stalked the whole way under Luis Quinonez, but was two lengths back at the eighth pole.
Seventh Street continued to extend her lead in the final furlong and drew off when asked. She crossed the wire in a final time of 1:43.13 on a fast track.
Acoma, who prefers to come off the pace, was last after a half-mile but never showed the fierce kick that she did when winning the Azeri (gr. III) by five lengths over the same strip last month. The 4-year-old Empire Maker filly was 5 3/4 lengths behind runner-up Superior Storm.
It was the first graded stakes win for Seventh Street, who finished a solid runner-up in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) in February at Laurel Park in her stakes debut. Prior to that effort, the chestnut won three straight races at Aqueduct – two of them in optional claiming company. Kiaran McLaughlin is her trainer.
Bred in Kentucky by Steve Barberino, Seventh Street is out of the Meadowlake mare Holiday Runner. She was bought for $1 million as a 2-year-old. With a record of 4-1-1 from six starts, Seventh Street has earned $416,000.
The 2-1 second choice, Seventh Street paid $6, $5.40, and $2.20. The exacta (3-2) returned $44.