HOT SPRINGS, AR – Phoenix Thoroughbred and KatieRich Stables’ Lady Apple made her connections’ dreams of running in the Kentucky Oaks come true when she snuck through along the ral to win Friday’s Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Breaking cleanly from post 4 at 9/1 odds under Ricardo Santana, Jr., Lady Apple cleared her inside foes and slid over to the rail to save ground heading into the clubhouse turn. Up front, the 6/5 favorite Motion Emotion posted quick opening fractions of :23.16, :46.76, and 1:11.08 while Brill kept close watch. Heading into the far turn, Brill made her bid for the lead, and at the top of the stretch, she was eye-to-eye with the pacesetter.
Lady Apple remained patiently ridden along the rail as she straightened for home and waited for room to appear. Finding a small window inside of Motion Emotion inside the final furlong, Lady Apple squeezed through and began surging ahead late. The Steve Asmussen trainee crossed with a length advantage in a final time of 1:43.88 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“She got a great trip,” said Santana, Jr. “I put her in the position we wanted to be in. She kept fighting for the rail. Once she got through, she just kept going. It was a big win.”
Motion Emotion had to settle for second over Brill by 3/4 of a length. Orra Moor took fourth by 3/4 of a length ahead of Irish Mischief, while Cosmic Code finished sixth by 3/4 of a length past Super Tap. Destiny Over Fate, K P Slickem, Oxy Lady, and Filly Joel completed the order of finish.
The Fantasy is the final stop on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Lady Apple earned 100 points for the win, with Motion Emotion receiving 40 for second, Brill 20 for third, and Orra Moor 10 for fourth.
Lady Apple’s win was her third straight, all in 2019 at Oaklawn Park, and improved her overall record to 7-3-2-0. The 3-year-old daughter of Curlin, who KatieRich bred before buying her back at auction as a yearling for $100,000, has now earned $452,000.
“Ricardo gave her a dream trip and the filly showed tremendous heart,” Asmussen said. “She broke smoothly. He worked out the perfect trip for her. I think the only option was the fence and she showed a lot of heart to go through there.”
Lady Apple returned $21.60 to win, $7.40 to place, and $4 to show. Motion Emotion brought back $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show, while Brill paid $3.40 to show.