(Edited press release)
Frank Calabrese’s champion juvenile filly Dreaming of Anna and Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor’s Rags to Riches, winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I), head a list of 126 3-year-old fillies nominated to the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 7 at Keeneland.
Dreaming of Anna trained over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface during the weeks prior to winning last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Only three fillies, Go For Wand (1990), My Flag (1996), and Silverbulletday (1999), have won both the Juvenile Fillies and Ashland. Trained by Wayne Catalano, Dreaming of Anna finished third in her season debut, the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. The winner that day, West Point Stable and Lewis G. Lakin’s Dream Rush also is nominated to the Ashland.
Rags to Riches, a $1.9 million Keeneland September sale graduate, has recorded two wins in three starts, including a recent victory in her stakes debut, the Las Virgenes. The filly is one of 11 nominated by Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who also is represented by Starlight Stable and Donald Lucarelli’s Octave and Dogwood Stable’s Cotton Blossom, who finished second and third, respectively, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Other fillies nominated to the Ashland include Heiligbrodt Racing’s Appealing Zophie, recent winner of the Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III); Phipps Stable’s Boca Grande, winner of the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II); Zayat Stables' Baroness Thatcher, winner of the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) and second in the Las Virgenes; J. Paul Reddam’s Cash Included, winner of the Oak Leaf Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. I); and Jack Hodge Jr. and Stonerside Stable’s Sutra, winner of the Frizette Stakes (gr. I).
Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Ashland is a prep for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Through the years, 10 fillies have won both the Ashland and the Kentucky Oaks. Nominations for the 70th running of the Ashland increased substantially over last year’s total of 80.