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HOUSTON, TX – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s Lady Apple returns to defend her title in Sunday’s $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic Stakes (G3) at Sam Houston.
The Houston Ladies Classic is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the eighth event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 5:32 PM.
Here’s a look at the full field for the Houston Ladies Classic:
1. Motion Emotion 7/2 – She makes her first start since Spendthrift Farm purchased her for $800k last November and sent her to Asmussen while leasing part of her ownership rights to the MyRacehorse microshare group. She’s unraced since finishing fourth in last August’s Personal Ensign Stakes (G1), but she’s fired back-to-back 5-furlong bullets and looks ready to run.
2. Jeweled Princess 8/1 – She enters this race red hot, having crossed the wire first in 5 of her past 6 starts (though in 1 of those, she was disqualified to second for interference). Her lone defeat came in the Remington Park Oaks (G3), she won her next 2 starts with relative ease, including most recently Remington’s She’s All In Stakes.
3. Ujjayi 6/1 – She’s developed into a reliable mare since Mike Maker took over her training duties last summer and put her on dirt, over which she’s compiled a 4-1-2-1 record for him. That string includes finishing third by 1 length in the Ladies Handicap last time out that earned her a second consecutive career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure.
4. Lady Apple 4/1 – Her connections hope that a return to the site of her last victory will right the ship for this 5-year-old daughter of Curlin, whose 6 subsequent starts saw her only hit the board twice at mostly similar levels. She returned from a 3-month break to finish third in December’s Broussard Stakes at Fair Grounds behind Whoa Nellie, who just won the Pippin Stakes.
5. Figure It Out 15/1 – She may scratch because she just competed 8 days ago in the Pippin at Oaklawn Park, where she finished sixth. Her current connections came within a 1/2-length of winning this last year with Serengeti Empress and claimed this Paynter mare for $62.5k out of a game neck victory in a one-turn dirt mile event at Churchill Downs last June.
6. Shes Our Fastest 20/1 – The longest shot on the morning line tote returns to a course over which she won the 6-furlong 2019 Yellow Rose Stakes against fellow Texas-breds. While 6 of her 8 career wins came sprinting, her other two were stakes routes at Lone Star and Delta Downs. She fired a 4-furlong bullet best-of-43 work in :48 flat in her final prep for this start.
7. Letruska 1/1 – The heavy favorite is known for running fast enough early that nobody can catch her late, as evidenced by her 5 route wins including the 1 1/8-mile Shuvee Stakes (G3). She’ll have to overcome the outside draw and similarly fleet-footed inside rival Motion Emotion, but if she repeats her last-out Rampart Stakes (G3) effort, then they’re all running for second.
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