Better With Age: Weaver Believes Point Of Honor Has Legitimate Chance In Apple Blossom

George Weaver’s only Oaklawn stakes history involves the Arkansas Derby, but that will change Saturday when the trainer sends out Point of Honor in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Weaver has started only one horse at Oaklawn, with Christine’s Outlaw finishing third in the 2003 Arkansas Derby. Weaver, as an assistant to Todd Pletcher, was in Hot Springs for Arkansas Derby victories in 2000 (Graeme Hall) and 2001 (Balto Star).

Now, Weaver bids for an Apple Blossom victory with a 4-year-old chestnut daughter of an Arkansas Derby winner – 2007 champ Curlin. The 4-year-old filly is 10-1 on the morning line.

“The ownership (Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing, LLC) had this race in mind for a long time,” Weaver said during training hours Friday morning. “It’s a marquee race for fillies and mares. There was some consideration for the La Troienne at Churchill, so it was a question about those two races. With things up in the air at Churchill, running here at Oaklawn was a no-brainer. The filly’s been training very well. There was absolutely no reason to leave her in the barn.”

A multiple stakes winner of $474,040, Point of Honor scored her biggest victory to date in the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) last May at Pimlico. After finishing second in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) last August at Saratoga, Weaver decided to stop on Point of Honor and target a 2020 campaign. She finished second in her comeback, a 7-furlong handicap, March 7 at Tampa Bay Downs.

“I never, ever wanted to run her one turn,” Weaver said. “I’ve been very purposeful about running her two turns. We wanted to get a race under our belt and there just weren’t that many options. We tried to get a race at Gulfstream and it didn’t go. The race at Tampa was basically something to get a race under our belt. She’s always acted like she would be a little susceptible at a shorter distance, one-turn distance. She kind of confirmed what I was thinking. She didn’t run that bad, but that’s not her forte. She’s bred, and acted, like a two-turn horse.”

Weaver said he believes Point of Honor’s best races could be in front of her, owing this to her breeding. Curlin is among the world’s leading sires, and many of his best offspring improve with age.

“There have been quite a few Curlins that have gotten better when they got older, most recently Vino Rosso,” Weaver said of the 2019 champion older dirt male at 4. “She’s done well. She’s training very well.”

Point of Honor is scheduled to break from post 5 under Drayden Van Dyke.

The post Better With Age: Weaver Believes Point Of Honor Has Legitimate Chance In Apple Blossom appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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