Zenyatta Blows Away Apple Blossom Foes
Photo: Coady Photography
Zenyatta remains unbeaten with a professional score in the Apple Blossom.
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Zenyatta extended her unbeaten streak to four races and defeated a champion in doing so when she took the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) (VIDEO) at Oaklawn Park April 5. Running down last year’s Eclipse Award-winning older mare Ginger Punch at the head of the lane, the John Shirreffs trainee took home her first grade I victory and launched a legitimate bid for an Eclipse Award of her own, should her winning ways continue.

Ginger Punch was the front-runner in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom, going through the first quarter in :23.47. She was followed closely through that pace by Lemon Drop Mom, while Clever Strike and Brownie Points made up the top four. Zenyatta, well back in the six-horse field under Mike Smith, was trailed only by Kettleoneup as they went a half in :47.30 and three-quarters in 1:11.61.

Lemon Drop Mom made a bid for the lead when they rounded the final turn, but Zenyatta, who trailed the field into the final turn, kicked into another gear at the head of the stretch. She blew down the center of the track to get the distance in a final time of 1:42.64 by a margin of 4 1/2 lengths. Brownie Points got up for second, while Ginger Punch hung on for third.    

The daughter of Street Cry returned $5.60, $3.60, and $2.20. Brownie Points and Luis Quinonez brought $8 and $3, and Ginger Punch paid $2.20 under Ramon Dominguez.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and bred in Kentucky by Maverick Production out of the Kris S. mare Vertigineux, Zenyatta came into the race off a 1 3/4-length win in the El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. The $300,000 winner's portion of the Apple Blossom purse boosted her earnings to $444,000. She is a half-sister to grade I winner Balance.

(Chart, Equibase)

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