Jockey Calvin Borel stands up on Gourmet Girl after the pair won the Apple Blossom.

Jockey Calvin Borel stands up on Gourmet Girl after the pair won the Apple Blossom.

Gourmet Girl Upsets Apple Blossom

Gourmet Girl tracked pacesetter Asher through the early going en route to a 4 1/2-length win in Sunday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. Lu Ravi finished second in the race for the second consecutive year, this time finishing a half-length ahead of Lazy Slusan. Last year's winner and this year's 8-5 favorite Heritage of Gold finished in tenth place, with Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Spain fourth.

Gourmet Girl was sent off at nearly 11-1 and returned $23.20, $13, and $9. Lu Ravi paid $13 and $7.80. Lazy Slusan was worth $8.40 to show. The winning exacta combination paid $184.20. With all of the top-three finishers odds in double digits, the trifecta returned $1,883.80.

Dreams Gallore finished fifth, a neck behind Spain. Bordelaise, Critikola, Ive Gota Bad Liver, Gold for My Gal, Heritage of Gold, and Asher completed the order of finish.

Gourmet Girl (Cee's Tizzy--Rhondaling, by Welsh Pageant) earned $300,000 for the win, her eighth in 31 starts, increasing her career earnings to over $1 million. The Apple Blossom marks her first graded stakes win since the 1999 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I). As a 3-year-old in 1998, she won the Bay Meadows Oaks. In March, Gourmet Girl finished fifth in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) seven days after winning the Sacramento Handicap. Calvin Borel rode the winner, who completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.15 on a fast track, for trainer Pico Perdromo and owner Gary A. Tanaka. Gourmet Girl was bred in California by Carl and Olivia Cannata.

"He told me to put his horse in the game," Borel said Perdomo told him. "I had to be one, two, three or she doesn't do her best. She went by the leader on her own." (Chart, Equibase)