CLOSE HATCHES MOVES TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS

FIRST DEFENCE's super star 4 year old proved yet again she has the class to dominate a field of Gr.1 contenders when scoring her third win at that level in the 2014 renewal of the Apple Blossom Gr.1 at Oaklawn Park on Friday.

Ahead at each call of the mile and a sixteenth contest, she set fractions of 23:47, 46:78, 1:10.78, and 1:36.30, finishing on top with a final time of 1:42.75.  This marked her second win over this course after taking the Azeri Stakes Gr.2 just under a month ago and is also her second Graded stakes win in as many starts for 2014.  The win came at the expense of last year's Apple Blossom victoress On Fire Baby, this year's Santa Margarita Gr.1 winner Let Faith Arise, and Graded stakes winners Rose To Gold and Stanwyck - all who found Close Hatches too good to beat on Friday. 

Close Hatches now has a record of 7 wins and 2 seconds from a total of 10 starts, and her recent win boosted her lifetime earnings to over $1.8 million.  The first foal of her dam Rising Tornado, she has a yearling brother by FIRST DEFENCE, as well as a full sister who is a foal of 2014.

Date: 12 April 2014