Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.
WHAT HORSE HOLDS THE RECORD FOR WINNING THE APPLE BLOSSOM HANDICAP THE MOST TIMES?
With $1,000,000 in purse money Oaklawn Park assured racing fans that the best older fillies and mares would compete in the Apple Blossom Handicap (GI). That certainly holds true for the 2021 edition. However, the purse was once set higher under unique conditions. In 2010 Oaklawn Park offered a $5,000,000 purse if both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta enter the race. Zenyatta had won the 2008 edition at age 4. The next year Rachel Alexandra at age 3 beat male horses in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. As the filly star Oaklawn wanted her to run in the Apple Blossom Handicap in the Spring of 2010. They both agreed however, before the race Rachel Alexandra’s connections withdrew her from the race. The special bonus evaporated. Zenyatta went on the win the race for a second time in 2010. Seven years earlier a mare by the name of Azeri set the record for winning the Apple Blossom Handicap the most times --- three. The record started in 2002 when she won as a 4-year-old. The next year at 5-years of age she won for the second time. In 2004 at age of 6 Azeri set the record by winning the Apple Blossom Handicap three times –in consecutive years, which remains to this day. (Photo of Apple Blossoms courtesy of twenty20.com)