Ashland Stakes at Keeneland

Dave Bond

Las Vegas, NV -- The Grade 1 Ashland Stakes is on tap this Saturday, April 7th from Keeneland. Three year old fillies will race 1 1/16 miles on Keeneland's main dirt track in hopes of grabbing some of the $500,000 purse to help them qualify for the Kentucky Oaks in May.

The Ashland is the first of 5 Grade 1 races at Keeneland during its spring meet that runs from April 6th to the 27th. Multiple graded stakes winners are included among the seven entries in the Ashland which is race 8 on Keeneland's Saturday card. Post time is 4:45 PM and for you avid racing fans, it will be broadcast on NBC.

Here is a breakdown of the seven participants and the credentials that brought them to this major Kentucky Oaks prep race:

Ashland Stakes Race Favorites

Stephanie's Kitten - will make her 2012 debut after a very productive Juvenile campaign in which she won or placed in all five starts (three wins and two third place finishes). Among Stephanie's Kitten's impressive wins is the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 4th and before that the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes on this track over this distance in October. Stephanie's Kitten was a leading Juvenile filly on dirt and turf last year and is without a doubt the most exciting prospect in the Ashland.

Ashland Stakes betting at Keeneland with

Hard Not to Like - will also make her 2012 debut after a good juvenile campaign. She finished off 2011 with a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but before that won the Cup and Saucer Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths at Woodbine in October. Hard Not to Like also has a fifth in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine and a couple of wins in lesser races at Woodbine.

Remaining Field Entries

Lotta Lovin - comes into the Ashland with a ton of momentum - three straight wins including the Valdale Stakes, the Cincinnati Stakes and the Blue Mountain Stakes all at Turfway Park. Lotta Lovin is a late bloomer and has five wins in 10 career starts.

Dixie Strike - is a multiple stakes winner that had success last year as well as this year. Last time out she finished third in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream on March 11th and before that was very impressive in winning the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs on February 4th. Dixie Strike has won or placed in all six career starts - three wins, two seconds and a third place finish.

Heart of Destiny - has had some impressive results including a second place finish to Stephanie`s Kitten at the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes on this course on October but since has posted a ninth place finish at the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes in October at Churchill Downs and a second at an Allowance Optional Claiming on February 26th at Gulfstream. In five career starts Heart of Destiny has one win, two seconds and a third place finish.

Karlovy Vary - won an Allowance Optional Claiming race last time out on February 26th at Gulfstream and before that was seventh at the Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream on December 24th and seventh at the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs on November 26th.

Goldrush Girl - has won or place in five of six career starts including wins at an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out at Gulfstream and a Maiden Special Weight race at Keeneland on October 29th. In six career starts Goldrush Girl has two wins, two seconds and a third place finish.

Ashland Stakes Entries

Race 8 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:45 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Dixie Strike J. Lezcano M. Casse
2 Hard Not to Like R. Albarado G. Cox
3 Heart of Destiny E. Prado J. Baker
4 Karlovy Vary J. Graham G. Arnold, II
5 Goldrush Girl M. Cruz K. McPeek
6 Lotta Lovin A. Garcia M. Maker
7 Stephanie's Kitten J. Leparoux W. Catalano

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