Stephanie's Kitten, a leading juvenile filly last year on both the main track and the turf, heads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 7.
The 85th running of the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), one of the most prestigious races leading to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be run April 11 during Keeneland's 2009 spring race meeting.
Champion Stardom Bound arrived at Keeneland on March 18 and will have her first breeze over the Polytrack on March 21 as she prepares for her scheduled start in the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) on April 4.
Stardom Bound, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and reigning 2-year-old filly champion, headlines 120 nominees to Keeneland's $400,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I), scheduled for April 4.
Zaftig roared past last year's 2-year-old champion Indian Blessing to pull away to a 4 1/2-length win in the $250,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park, nabbing her second consecutive score this season.
Jockey Eric Camacho was in Louisville April 23 to work Cloverleaf Farm's Bsharpsonata, from the Tim Salzman stable, one of the favorites in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Pulpit was sharp in her five-furlong breeze, stopping the clock in :59.80, the third fastest drill of the morning at the famed Kentucky oval.
Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training will be conducted earlier in April next year and will have two evening sessions and only one under tack show.
Grade I winner Sharp Lisa, expected to be one of the favorites, was forced to scratch from Saturday's Ashland (gr. I) at Keeneland due to a bruised hind hoof.
Bruce Lunsford's undefeated Madcap Escapade zipped five furlongs in :58 1/5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs Friday morning in preparation for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
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.
A small but select field of 3-year-old fillies, including champion Halfbridled, undefeated Madcap Escapade, Eclipse Award finalist Ashado, and grade III winner La Reina, has been entered for Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song got the trip she needed to defeat odds-on favorite Society Selection by two lengths in Saturday's $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park.
Patrick Biancone expects major improvement from Whoopi Cat in Sunday's $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, and not just because Halfbridled is passing the race.
Seven of the best 3-year-old fillies in North America were entered Thursday morning for the 66th running of the $500,000 Ashland Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Saturday.
Grade I winners Storm Flag Flying and Elloluv and undefeated Lady Tak are among the 67 fillies nominated for the April 5 Ashland Stakes.
Take Charge Lady was pointed toward the June 29 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I), but instead, trainer Ken McPeek has decided to give the 3-year-old filly about a month off. McPeek said the filly hasn't been eating well, and some blood work indicated she's "a touch dehydrated," said the trainer.
With two Triple Crown nominees in action on April 6, Jerry and Feye Bach of Select Stable faced a dilemma that most Thoroughbred owners would envy. They could head south from their home near Cincinnati and watch Take Charge Lady in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Or they could go north and cheer on Repent in the Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Sportsman's Park.
Michael Dickinson surprised us in 1996, when Da Hoss conquered the heavy favorite, Mark of Esteem, in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I). He surprised us again in 1998, when Da Hoss won the same race after a long layoff and just one prep. But this time the trainer surprised even himself. After he saddled Fleet Renee to upset the formidable Golden Ballet in the April 7 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, Dickinson looked a little bit stunned.
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