The stumbling blocks continued for 2-year-old filly champ Halfbridled Friday morning when she tied up (cramped up) after a routine gallop for Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I), in which she was to face Madcap Escapade and Ashado for leadership in the 3-year-old filly division.
"It was her second day on the track since she arrived and she just got a little too excited," Mandella said. "I certainly don't want to run her after tying up. It hasn't been easy this year; not like last year when everything went perfectly. There have been a few forks in the road, but she'll be all right, and if she doesn't tie up again I could run her in the (Stonerside) Beaumont Stakes next Thursday. If she can't make it, I may just train her up to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)."
Earlier this year, Halfbridled was forced to miss the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) when she developed a cough, and Mandella didn't like the way she was working. He gave her more time and trained her up to the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), in which she was second to Silent sighs, suffering her first career defeat.
Mandella said he may remain at Keeneland all week. He has Action This Day primed for next Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). He worked the colt a mile in 1:43 on Thursday to "get some of the speed out of him." Mandella said he caught his last quarter in :23 and change.
Mandella said his other big 3-year-old colt, Minister Eric, may run in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) April 17.
The field for the Ashland in post position order:
1. (SCRATCHED) Halfbridled, A. Solis, 123
2. Ashado, C. Velazquez, 123
3. Madcap Escapade, R. Douglas, 118
4. La Reina, J. Velasquez, 120
5. Last Song, R. Albarado, 120