Oaklawn Park announces 1-million-dollar purse for Apple Blossom
Apple Blossom Stakes Purse: The only thing that brings champions together at this time of year is big purses, and in regards to the April 17 showstopper in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park; Swiss Skydiver will face Monomoy Girl in a blockbuster battle between reigning Eclipse Award winners.
The champion older dirt female in 2020 and the Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly in 2018; the Apple Blossom had always been the second stop on her 2021 schedule following the Feb. 28 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn—which she won for her 14th victory in an illustrious 16-start career.
Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver, the 2020 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner, and champion 3-year-old filly, started the year in the March 13 Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, and after the daughter of Daredevil recorded a scintillating 2 3/4-length victory in the Beholder, it became clear to McPeek that a rematch with Monomoy Girl was the way to go—especially with $1 million on the line in a small, six-horse field.
The first meeting between the two stars took place Nov. 7 in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), Swiss Skydiver’s first start since winning the Preakness over Kentucky Derby winner, Breeders’ Cup Classic victor, and Horse of the Year Authentic.
In that race, Swiss Skydiver stumbled at the start which left her eighth in the early stages, and she never entered serious contention while finishing seventh as Monomoy Girl cruised to a second triumph in the Distaff for trainer Brad Cox.
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