Overlooked in the wagering at odds of 8-1, Heart Ashley quickly took the lead and never looked back while tallying a 1 1/4-length win in the $250,000 My Juliet Stakes (VIDEO) at Philadelphia Park May 29.
The 4-year-old daughter of Lion Heart--Pretty 'n Smart, by Beau Genius, was ridden to victory by Stewart Elliott for trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Zayat Stables.
Heart Ashley clicked off swift quarter-mile fractions of :21.82 and :44.01 while racing slightly off the rail in the six-furlong test for fillies and mares. She showed gameness when challenged by One Smokin' Lady in the final furlong, holding sway while coming home in a time of 1:08.68 over a fast track. Grade I winner Cat Moves, the 11-10 choice in the field of eight, finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
A $320,000 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2007 Select Yearling buy, Heart Ashley won her sixth race in 10 starts and boosted her earnings to $395,896 with the winning purse of $150,000.
Heart Ashley has won both of her starts in 2010, after previously taking an optional claiming allowance sprint over Keeneland's Polytrack April 15. She won a pair of grade III stakes -- the Cicada at Aqueduct and the Miss Preakness at Pimlico -- last year.
Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds bred the winning chestnut filly in Kentucky.
Heart Ashley paid $18.80, $7.00 and $4.00 as the fifth choice in the field and keyed a $119.40 exacta. One Smokin' Lady, who stalked the pace throughout for A. Napravnik, returned $7.00 and $4.80. Cat Moves, in her first start since last October for trainer Tony Dutrow, was $2.40 to show.
Jemilyn, Pinkarella, D'wild Ride, Key Lime Baby and Trusty Temper completed the order. Hold That Prospect was a stewards' scratch.