Horse of the Year Azeri is scheduled to make her 5-year-old debut in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park on April 5."If the weather cooperates," trainer Laura DeSeroux added Wednesday from her San Luis Rey Downs headquarters south of Santa Anita."She is absolutely jumping out of her skin," DeSeroux said of Azeri, first female Horse of the Year since Lady's Secret in 1986. "She looks fantastic, she's healthy and she's rarin' to go. She'll have her first full-scale workout as soon as the weather cooperates."
Southern California was hit by a strong tropical storm early Tuesday morning and rain was expected to continue in the region until Friday.Azeri won the Apple Blossom last April 6 by 1 ¾ lengths, her smallest margin of victory. Azeri has not raced since winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) by five lengths last Oct. 26 at Arlington Park. She has been in light training since shortly after the race, pending a sale on March 4 at Barretts that was canceled after litigation between factions of the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust was resolved last week.Azeri, a daughter of Jade Hunter, has a 10-1-0 record from 11 starts with earnings of $2,227,740.