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Monomoy Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables' Monomoy Girl has been installed as the 4-5 favorite in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies entered Tuesday for Saturday's 81st running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland.
The 1 1/16-mile main track test offers 170 points toward the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run May 4 at Churchill Downs with 100 going to the winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 to third place and 10 to fourth. The Oaks is limited to the top 14 point earners that pass the entry box and currently the cut line is 21 points.
The Central Bank Ashland, one of five graded stakes races Saturday, will go as the ninth race on the 11-race program with a 5:45 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Brad Cox and to be ridden by Florent Geroux, Monomoy Girl has won four of five career starts. In her lone 2018 outing, she won the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 17. Monomoy Girl's only defeat was a runner-up finish by a neck in the Golden Rod (G2) in November at Churchill Downs.
Monomoy Girl will break from post position one.
Race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM
|1||Monomoy Girl||4-5||Florent Geroux||Brad Cox|
|2||Eskimo Kisses||2-1||Corey Lanerie||Kenny McPeek|
|3||Patrona Margarita||15-1||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Bret Calhoun|
|4||C.S. Incharge||10-1||Luis Saez||Dale Romans|
|5||Andina Del Sur||6-1||Julien Leparoux||Thomas Albertrani|
|6||Ipanema Beach||20-1||Chris Landeros||Rusty Arnold|
|7||Tyfosha||15-1||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Doug O'Neill|
Second choice on the morning line at 2-1 is Magdalena Racing, Gainesway Stable and Harold Lerner's Eskimo Kisses. Runner-up in the TwinSpires Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in her most recent start on March 24, Eskimo Kisses will break from post position two. She is trained by two-time Central Bank Ashland winner Kenny McPeek and will be ridden by Corey Lanerie.
Lanerie is one of five riders to have won the Central Bank Ashland three times. A victory Saturday would make him the first to win the race in three consecutive years. Lanerie won with Hooh Why in 2009, Weep No More in 2016 and Sailor's Valentinein 2017.
Other graded stakes winners in the field include Craig Upham's Patrona Margarita and Don Alberto Corp.'s Andina Del Sur.
Trained by Bret Calhoun, Patrona Margarita won the Pocahontas (G2) in September at Churchill and did not return to the races until February when she finished fourth behind Monomoy Girl in the Rachel Alexandra. Patrona Margarita will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and break from post position three.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Andina Del Sur will be making her main track debut Saturday. Winner of the Florida Oaks (G3) in her most recent start, Andina Del Sur has raced exclusively on turf in her four-race career. Julien Leparoux has the mount and will break from post position five.
The field for the Central Bank Ashland, with riders and morning-line odds, from the rail out is: Monomoy Girl (Geroux, 4-5), Eskimo Kisses (Lanerie, 2-1), Patrona Margarita (Hernandez Jr., 15-1), C. S. Incharge (Luis Saez, 10-1), Andina Del Sur (Leparoux, 6-1), Ipanema Beach (Chris Landeros, 20-1) and Tyfosha (Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1). All starters will carry 121 pounds.
Monomoy Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables' Monomoy Girl, the probable favorite for Saturday's $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1), breezed a half-mile in :47.20 Sunday morning at Keeneland over a fast track.
Working in company with the 4-year-old maiden winner Compass Zone, Monomoy Girl started a length back and finished on even terms while posting fractions of :24, :47.40 and out 5 furlongs in :59.80.
"That was visually impressive," said trainer Brad Cox, who claimed his second training title at the Fair Grounds meet that closed Saturday. "I had her going out in 1:00.03 and then 1:13.40 for three-quarters."
A winner of four of five starts, Monomoy Girl comes into the Central Bank Ashland off a 2½-length victory in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) as the 9-10 favorite at Fair Grounds on Feb. 17.
Sunday's work was the fifth for Monomoy Girl since her Rachel Alexandra victory. Cox opted for the Central Bank Ashland over the March 24 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) "because this race is Grade 1 and offers more money."
Although Monomoy Girl never has raced at Keeneland, Sunday's work was not her first over the track.
"She was here for a few months last year," Cox said. "She was here and then went to Ellis Park before she debuted at Indiana Grand."
Cox said Monomoy Girl would return to the track Tuesday and would have a gate schooling session sometime this week as well as Paddock schooling "Wednesday or Thursday or both."
Zedan Racing Stables' Tyfosha is considered a 60-40 proposition to start in the Central Bank Ashland over Sunday's Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select, according to Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill. Tyfosha worked a half-mile in :50.20 here Saturday morning.
Other probable starters for the Central Bank Ashland are Andina Del Sur, C. S. Incharge and Mrs Rocco with Patrona Margarita and Eskimo Kisses considered as possible entrants.
81st Running * Spring * 1 1/16 miles * 3-year-old fillies
The Ashland Stakes and the Kentucky Association's Ashland Oaks were named for the Lexington homestead and breeding farm of statesman Henry Clay. The Ashland was inaugurated at Keeneland's first race meeting. The initial two runnings - at the fall meets of 1936 and 1937 - were for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward. Discontinued for two years, the Ashland was revived in the spring of 1940 as an event exclusively for 3-year-old fillies. From 1943-1945, the Ashland was renewed as a part of the Keeneland-at-Churchill Downs meetings. Central Bank became the sponsor in 2010.
Stakes Record: 1:41 3/5, Silverbulletday, 1999
Largest Straight Payoff: $136.80, Dun-Cee, 1967
Smallest Straight Payoff: $2.40, Bewitch, 1948; Princess Rooney, 1983; Glitter Woman, 1997
Largest Field: 13, 1950; 1970; 1989; 2013; 2014
Smallest Field: 3, 1936
Largest Value to Winner: $357,275, Fleet Renee, 2001
Owner-Breeder-Trainer Combination: Clarence Hartwick, Sickle's Image, 1951
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