OffTrackBetting.com - Keeneland in Lexington Kentucky will play host to the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes on Saturday, April 9. Three year old fillies will be after the winner's share of the nice $500,000 purse and the 100-40-20-10 qualifying points scale toward the Kentucky Oaks when they take to Keeneland's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles.
A short but competitive field of just five will line up in the Ashland Stakes - race 6 on Keeneland's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 3:28 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all five combatants for this lucrative Road to the Kentucky Oaks Grade 1 stakes.
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Cathryn Sophia 1-1 - John Servis trained filly has four career starts and four dominating wins by a combined 41 1/2 lengths. Last time out was a good seven length win in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream February 27 after another win in her graded stakes debut - by an impressive 5 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes on this track January 30, a win in her stakes debut - by an incredible 16 1/2 lengths in the $100,000 minor Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel Park December 5 and a win by an astounding 12 3/4 lengths at first asking at Parx in October. She hasn't been touched so far and is one to catch in this one despite it being her first ever start around two turns. Javier Castellano has the mount on the overwhelming favorite from post 3.
Carina Mia 7-5 - Bill Mott trained filly has two wins and a second place finish in three career starts. - the runner-up finish coming in her debut. She enters on an impressive two race win streak - by 4 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes last time out at Churchill Downs November 28 and a maiden score by 9 3/4 lengths in record time on this track October 29. Carina Mia has been especially impressive lately and should be in the mix again Saturday. Julien Leparoux has been tabbed to ride the second betting choice from post 5.
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Rachel's Valentina 3-1 - has three career starts with two wins and a second place finish. Last time out was her only career defeat but it resulted in a respectable second behind Songbird in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Before that result was a win in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga September 5 and a maiden score at first asking on that same track August 2. Rachel's Valentina has been impressive so far and hopes to keep the momentum going - from gate 4 with Florent Geroux guiding her.
Weep No More 20-1 - George Arnold trained filly has two wins in three career starts and enters on a two race win streak. Last time out his win came in the minor Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay February 13 after a maiden score January 22 and an eighth in her debut in November. Weep No More has definitely been trending upward ahead of her graded stakes debut and will try to keep the roll going from the rail with Corey Lanerie aboard.
Banree 20-1 - Wesley Ward trained filly is the most experienced entry in the field. She has seven career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the minor WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park February 20, after a respectable third in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes at Aqueduct November 4 and an Allowance score at Keeneland October 7. Those results followed a sixth in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes September 5, a decent second in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes in July, a fifth in the minor Tremont Stakes in June and a maiden score at first asking in April. Banree has been competitive at times against some top quality fields but will be after her first graded stakes score Saturday from gate 2 with Albin Jimenez in the saddle.
Race 6 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:28 PM.