Ashado Casts Big Shadow Over Cotillion

(from Philadelphi Park report)
Starlight Stables standout filly Ashado is expected to be a heavy favorite over eight rivals in Saturday's $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Philadelphia Park.

Looking to rebound from a recent third-place finish in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, the dark bay daughter of Saint Ballado will break from post seven in the 1 1/16-mile test under Eibar Coa for trainer Todd Pletcher. She carries top weight of 124 pounds, seven to 10 more than the rest of the field.

Ashado has been at or near the top of her division since first setting foot on the racetrack as a 2-year-old last year. Her career log shows seven wins from 12 starts with earnings in excess of $1.88 million, including three grade I wins – the Spinaway in August at Saratoga, the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill in April, and July's Coaching Club American Oaks this July at Belmont.

She's also been second in three grade I efforts – the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies last October, finishing behind the sensational Halfbridled, the Ashland in April at Keeneland, losing by a half-length to speedy Madcap Escapade, and June's Mother Goose, when she was upset by the rejuvenated Stellar Jayne.

Heavily favored in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama in the mud Aug. 21, she was unable to hold the lead over Society Selection. Stellar Jayne took second.

Ashado will be making her final start before heading to Lone Star Park for the Breeders' Cup October 30. Trainer Todd Pletcher opted to give her an extra week's rest for the big test rather than wait for next Saturday's Beldame (gr. I), where she would have faced older fillies and mares.

Richard Masson's Ender's Sister and Buckingham Farm's He Loves Me provide the challenge.

Ender's Sister, from the Rusty Arnold barn, has been close in graded company. She was second, a length behind Yearly Report, in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II) July 17. She missed by a half length to Friendly Michelle in the La Troienne (gr. III) at Churchill April 29. She has four wins and four seconds in 11 career starts

He Loves Me, a Not for Love filly, rattled off three consecutive stakes wins this summer including the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows in early July. She tried grade I company for the first time in her last start and finished third, beaten less than three lengths in the Gazelle Sept. at Belmont Park.

$250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II), 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. My Lordship (KY), 115, Heberto Castillo, Jr.
2. Ender's Sister (KY), 117, Jose A. Velez, Jr.
3. Pilfer (KY), 115, Fabio A. Arguello, Jr.
4. Hopelessly Devoted (FL), 116, (No Rider)
5. Schedule (GB), 114, Anthony S. Black
6. Catboat (KY). 116, Chad K. Murphy
7. Ashado (KY), 124, Eibar Coa
8. Fait Accompli (NY), 115, Harry Vega
9. He Loves Me (MD), 117, Jozbin Z. Santana

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