Racing Festival of the South: Grade 1 Apple Blossom Preview

Tara's Tango - ©Benoit Photo
©Benoit Photo

Likely Winners

#3 TARA’S TANGO – Anybody that has followed me knows how much I have always liked this horse.  There have been moments of disappointment for me and Tara’s Tango, but lately its been all good.  Her last two races have been exactly what I have wanted to see from her as she’s won the Grande 2 Santa Maria and the Grade 1 Santa Margarita in stylish fashion.  I do not believe she will be able to compete with the likes of Stellar Wind and Beholder when they return in California, but this spot today is perfect for her today.  I’ve hyped this horse for over a year so there is not much more I need to say.  I expect a huge performance from her that results in back to back Grade 1 victories.

#5 FOREVER UNBRIDLED – Was never a fan of this horse prior to the Kentucky Oaks last year, but she’s starting to grow on me with each race.  Since her tough Kentucky Oaks finish she’s actually come back to run three bang up races in a row.  Off a layoff she was a close fifth in the 7 furlong Raven Run which I thought was a good comeback effort, and then she stretched out again and won two straight Grade 3 races at two different racetracks.  The first was at Aqueduct in the Comely Stakes where she showed great determination to just barely win by a head.  Next up was the Sam Houston Lady’s Classic where she easily showed she was the class of the field winning by over a length.  You have to love the trend she’s on right now and she should be coming into this race ready to run big again.  I like that she can sit close to the leaders and pounce at the right moment.  She’s a serious player in this spot.

Exotic Plays

#4 UNTAPABLE – At this point what do you do with Untapable?  What is left in the tank?  Once again she disappointed in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes last time out to finish second.  She did the exact same thing last year before going on to win the Grade 1 Apple Blossom, however that was the last time she’s won a race!  It’s almost hard to believe that this horse has a gone a year without winning.  Can she win this race if she returns to form?  Absolutely without a doubt she will.  Can you count on her to ever return to form?  No you can’t…have to have on your tickets out of respect, but don’t put her in a position to where she has to win for you to cash.

#1 CALL PAT – What a meet this horse has had as she might be the most exciting horse on the grounds this season.  Her come from behind running style is always fun to watch, and last time out in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes she weaved her way through traffic before eventually catching Untapable at the wire to finish first giving her back to back graded stakes wins.  Trainer Brad Cox has admitted that the Azeri was probably Untapable’s “warm up” race and that she will be better this time out.  We agree…and we also think the field as a whole is much tougher this time.  Regardless, look for Call Pat to come with her run at the end like normal.  She’ll have a shot, but these horses might be a tad bit better than her.

Party Crashers

#6 STREAMLINE – Almost put this horse in the “throw outs” category, but she’s only been beaten by a combined length by Call Pat in her last two races.  Seems to really like the Oaklawn Park track so this would not be a huge upset if she were to pull off a win here.  Obviously prefer others over her, but don’t be shocked if she runs a big race.

Throw Outs

#2 THEOGONY – Looks to be the most likely of the group to throw out first.  Ran fourth to three of these last time out in the Azeri Stakes, and also ran fourth to Forever Unbridled in the Sam Houston Lady’s Classic.

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