CHAMPION STELLAR WIND HEAVILY FAVORED IN APPLE BLOSSOM

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Thursday, April 12, 2017) – Champion Stellar Wind begins her final racing campaign that will hopefully conclude with a second Eclipse Award in Friday’s $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles Friday at Oaklawn. Over, the last 10, the race has produced four champion older mare titles – Close Hatches (2014), Havre de Grace (2011) and Zenyatta (2008 and 2010) and two Horse of the Year titles – Havre de Grace (2011) and Zenyatta (2010).
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Oaklawn Barn Notes: ARKANSAS DERBY

Very likely this year, Todd Pletcher could pass his former boss D. Wayne Lukas for the most starts all-time in the Kentucky Derby. Pletcher, who will start unbeaten Rebel winner Malagacy in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby, has five horses among the top 20 on the Kentucky Derby qualifying points lists. That includes Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming, who could wind up the Kentucky Derby favorite, pending what happens with Malagacy and 2-year-old champion Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby. It does not include another promising unbeaten horse, Oaklawn’s Southwest winner One Liner, who was rerouted to from the Arkansas Derby to get some time off after an unsatisfactory workout.
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