Affluent, Solis to Team Again for Apple Blossom

Alex Solis, who won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) aboard Affluent but opted to get off of her to ride Got Koko in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), will be back aboard the daughter of Affirmed when she meets Horse of the Year Azeri in the April 5 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.

Affluent, who scratched from the Santa Margarita due to a slight fever, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita's fast main track Thursday in 1:00.60, breezing, with Solis up.

"She's not a good work horse," Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally said, "but she went out (six furlongs) in 1:14."

Azeri will be making her first start since her dominating victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff last Oct. 26, but McAnally expects his rival to turn in her usual solid performance despite the layoff of more than five months.

"She'll run good fresh," McAnally said. "Some horses run good fresh, others don't. She happens to be one that will. She's not a very big filly and doesn't require a lot of training."

Trainer John Shirreffs said Santa Margarita winner Starrer would not run in the Apple Blossom.

"As far as I know, as of today, we're not going. But until the entries are drawn and she's not in it, I won't rest easy. Seriously, it would be three weeks from the Santa Margarita (March 9) to the Apple Blossom, so that's a lot. Why jump her back in three weeks?"