Seven Last-Out Winners Among Eight Appalachian Starters

Eight are in for the $400,000 Appalachian Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies on Blue Grass Stakes (G1) day at Keeneland and all but one come to the 1-mile turf event fresh from a victory.

And, as usually is the case early in the Keeneland spring meeting, the cast arrives from hither and yonin this case, California, Louisiana and Florida.

Three of the fillies captured graded stakes in their last outingSpendarella and Ouraika from Graham Motion’s barn and Dolce Zel another in the long string of foreign-raced youngsters sent to Chad Brown to seek their fortune in the New World.

Spendarella, a Karakontie filly out of the Unusual Heat mari Spanish Bunny arrives undefeated after two starts, both at Gulfstream Parkand on the back of a front-running score in the Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) March 5.

Keeneland may be only an interim stop for the filly.

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“She’s always been a nice filly, and she just keeps growing and getting more intelligent about the job,” Motion assistant Alice Clapham said after the Herecomesthebride. She seems to know what life’s about. The first race really kind of helped her grow up. She’s a New York-bred, so she’ll most probably head up there at some point.”

Ouraika raced in France during the summer of her 2-year-old year and hit the ground running in New York in the autumn, finishing fourth in the Chelsea Flower Stakes at Belmont Park Nov. 6, then second, beaten only 1/2 length, in an Aqueduct allowance. She came back to win the Sweet Life Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Feb. 12 in her most recent start.

Ouraika is by Zelzal out of the Dansili mari Sleek Gold . Bred by Khalifa Mohammed Al Attiyah, she races for Michael Dubb and Madaket Stable.

Dolce Zel also is from the first crop by Zelzal, a son of Sea the Stars , and races for the same connections as Ouraika. She was produced by the Dr. Fong mari Dolce Attsea (GB).

After a dismal showing in her career debut in July, Dolce Zel was put away for nearly three months, returning to win a maiden affair at Longchamp Oct. 14 in her final start on that side of the Atlantic.

Prepped at Payson Park in Florida, Dolce Zel jumped right into the deep end in her first US start, rallying from a stalking trip to win the Florida Oaks (G3) on the Tampa Bay Downs turf March 12 for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr, who takes the return call in the Appalachian. In that, she edged favored stablemate Spicer .

After the Florida score, Ortiz commented, “She looks like a nice filly. She was ready today and she did everything right.”

As for the others in the Appalachian lineup: Kneesnhips a Connect filly, won the Allen Black Cat LaCombe Memorial at Fair Grounds in her last start; Skims a Frankel filly, was last seen winning a conditioned event at Tampa Bay Downs for trainer Shug McGaughty; and Trobairitz a daughter of Summer Front won a similar race at Fair Grounds in her last start.

Glenall a Coolsty filly trained by Richard Baltas, exits a victory in a maiden race at Santa Anita; and An Agent Mistake by Karakontie, finished second in the China Doll Stakes at Santa Anita in her last outing.

Entries: Appalachian S. Presented by Japan Racing Association (G2T)

Keeneland, Saturday, April 09, 2022, Race 6

  • Grade IIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $400,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 3:20 PM (local)

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