Plum Pretty made a victorious return for Peachtree Stable and trainer Bob Baffert on Friday, cruising to a 2 1/4-length score in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
The 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro broke a step slow under Rafael Bejarano, but recovered quickly and stalked Twelve Twenty Two down the backstretch. Plum Pretty assumed command around the far turn as Bejarano took a confident look behind in search of any threats. He had to have liked what he saw. Plum Pretty leveled off professionally and crossed the wire 2 1/4 lengths clear of Absinthe Minded who finished second. Plum Pretty covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.64.
“We had some anxious moments at the start but once he got her into gear she just dragged him around there,” Baffert said via phone from his home base in California. “She’s always been sort of a big filly but her frame is filling out and it was great to get her back and get a win in there. I don’t know (where her next start will be); she comes home Sunday and as soon as she tips me off that she’s ready to run again, we’ll find a spot for her.”
Bejarano was impressed with the return of last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner.
“She felt really, really good,” Bejarano said. “I missed the first jump a little bit. She kind of came away from there on the wrong foot, but I think about it and it was the best thing that happened. If she had fired out of there, she might have gone up there head and head with that other filly. I saw the other filly get sent and that was good for me. She was great relaxing and after a half-mile I felt in total control. She was ready to go when I asked her.”
Oaklawn Publicity contributed to this report.
Plum Pretty/Coady photo