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2011 Rebel and Azeri Stakes day at Oaklawn Park

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Havre de Grace wins the 2011 Azeri Stakes
Havre de Grace wins the the 2011 Azeri Stakes

Havre de Grace wins the the 2011 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park

© Steve Queen
Immediately before the Rebel, a field of 7 older fillies and mares went 1 1/16 miles in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (G3), the major local prep for the Apple Blossom Handicap. Blind Luck was the 6-5 favorite off four straight 2nd place finishes including the La Canada (G2) last out. Also in the field included 8-5 second choice Havre de Grace, unraced since finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (G1), and 5-1 Spacy Tracy, winner of three straight including the Top Flight (G2) in November.

9-1 Absinthe Minded set the early pace of 23.64, 47.51, and 1:11.58 over the fast track while Shotgun Gulch stalked her 1 1/2 lengths behind. Entering the stretch, Havre de Grace, who sat 4th for the first 5/8 mile, came out 3 wide and swept by the tiring pacesetters to take the lead, opening up a 2 1/2 length advantage at the 1/8 pole. Blind Luck, last for the first 3/4 mile, but in her usual late run but was no match for Havre de Grace who cruised under the line 3 1/4 lengths clear in a stakes-record-equaling time of 1:42.02. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Absinthe Minded third.

Results Chart from Daily Racing Form

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