McCarthy: Year-End Destination Set For Ce Ce, But Road There Is Unclear

Ce Ce, winner of Saturday’s $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) for older fillies and mares at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., was scheduled to leave by van back to Southern California Sunday afternoon, trainer Mike McCarthy said in a text message Sunday morning, adding Elusive Quality filly came out of her narrow victory over Ollie’s Candy in “great” shape physically.

Ce Ce, after breaking from post 14 under Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, collared Ollie’s Candy in the shadow of the wire to win the 1 1/16-mile race by a head for California breeder/owner Bo Hirsch. Ce Ce (who paid $9.80) is a half-sister to 2009 Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem, who was also bred and campaigned by Hirsch.

Ce Ce is unbeaten in three starts this year, including the $400,000 Beholder Mile (G1) March 14 at Santa Anita. McCarthy said the year-end goal for Ce Ce is the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 7 at Keeneland. Getting there, McCarthy indicated after the Apple Blossom, is tricky since racing nationally has been disrupted because of COVID-19.

“We’ll have to see what happens here,” McCarthy said. “Obviously, it would be nice to go ahead and circle the Breeders’ Cup. Hopefully, everything gets back to the new normal again.”

Apple Blossom third-place finisher Point of Honor was scheduled to return Sunday to her south Florida base, trainer George Weaver said Sunday morning. Point of Honor was beaten 2 ¼ lengths after breaking last and racing six-wide on the second turn.

“She didn’t break well and got sandwiched out of there,” Weaver said. “ She was a little farther back than she needed to be. It was a tough race. There were a bunch of good fillies in there. There were five Grade 1 winners.”

The post McCarthy: Year-End Destination Set For Ce Ce, But Road There Is Unclear appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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