Santa Catarina to Bypass Ashland; Ky. Oaks Next

Robert and Beverly Lewis' Santa Catarina will skip Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and train up to the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) instead, trainer Bob Baffert said. The daughter of Unbridled was given a freshening over the winter and came back to win a one-mile optional claiming event on March 12 by a widening five lengths.

"She runs well fresh," Baffert said, "but it's more that I don't want to give her a hard, taxing race before the Oaks. It's a long summer and we need her fresh for the great fillies races up in New York."

Last year, Santa Catarina ended her juvenile campaign by finishing third, beaten 10 1/4 lengths, to champion Storm Flag Flying and stablemate Composure in the Breeders‚ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She also was second in the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and Del Mar Debutante (gr. II) after breaking her maiden by eight lengths furlongs in her second career start at Del Mar. Overall her record stands at 6-2-2-1 for earnings of $336,180.