Ashland Is at the Mercy of Present Tense

Ashland – Grade I [KYO]
KEE Race #3 1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $600.000 For Fillies Three Years Old.

1      Bella Chica         Mb Stables     – Scratch –

2    Keno Queen       Mb Stables       Cedillo A

One of the two remaining runners from the stable she took one of the early stakes races in the Astoria last year but hasn’t won since. That is not saying she failed at all because among those defeats has been a second in the grade one Alcibiades and a close seventh in the BC Juvenile fillies. Drawn the ace thanks to the defection of her stable companion i suspect the trainer will use her early speed to lead or stalk from this gate and she has enough class that if she gets a favor from the race engine she could be hard to run down.

3       Derby Connection       Two Hearts One Love        Alvarado F T

I love these kinds of entries because they are a story waiting to happen if they come off. She won her maiden at lowly GRP and then followed up with an easy allowance win at the free track before then taking the Private Terms Stakes from the car park draw. Now granted that was a free track stakes but she won it from an impossible gate and is now on a four timer. Add that to a 1.10 and 4 work and believe it or not she may just have a chance off the perfect draw.

4       Third Gear        Smokey Stover        Ferrer J C

It is hard to weigh up the purchase price for this filly because $300 to Smokey Stover can be like $30 for other stables. Having said that there haven’t been many big purchases from this yard that haven’t reaped benefits and this filly looks good enough to be competitive here. A decent win in The Cincinnati Trophy Stakes in her first start for the new stable whilst very good was still a bit off this sort of level and she will have to improve a fair bit more to win.

5      To The Beach        Arindel          Espinoza V

Both her wins have come in turf sprints so it is difficult to see her winning this but she hails from a stable that throws them into these races and inevitably hits the bullseye with a few. A shade one paced from the perfect draw in an optional claimer at GP last time i can’t find a way to put her in front at the post.

6     Present Tense       Mb Stables             Jaramillo E

This race hasn’t got a lot of depth to be honest and it looks like this filly has the race at her mercy which is possibly why Mb Stables was happy to swallow the loss of fee by scratching their third runner.Won the Alciabades from Keno Queen before a good sixth in the BC juvenile fillies and a second in the Starlet as a two year old but it was what she has done as a three year old that has made people sit up and look. in winning the Holy Bull against the boys she stirred the hornets nest of conspiracy theorists but i actually think her fourth in the Fountain of Youth was a better run. She had to go much quicker to find her preferred spot but had to do it from the car park draw in that race but still found something at the end. Those two efforts are head and shoulders above this field and she should win.

7     Ifyerwokeyerajoke      TwinTowersRacing        Bridgmohan S X

As we push on to the outside draws we find the hail mary types, this is the first of them but we are used to seeing the trainer perform miracles with seemingly out classed horses so it really wouldn’t surprise me if this one turned giant killer. Winner of her last two in lesser company, they were both from awkward draws and over sprint trips so there are plenty of reasons to think she may be a threat even without much form to her name.

8       Newfangled         Avenue Z          Davis D

A consistent type at much lower grade she has just a TUP sprint maiden win to her name and i cannot see that being good enough in this race, She does have a couple of decent works though and with HRP playing a bit funny at the moment you can’t write her off.

9      Kiss Me Back Foot       Night Rider Stables          Velazquez J R

A maiden and drawn nine, you would think its a no brainer to write her off but she has shown up in a few works and i am sure she is better than a maiden runner, it is a stretch to see her winning though.

10       Texas Holdem       D J C Racing Stables       Franco M

I don’t know how many times i write about this owner and a wide draw in big races but it does seem they have more bad luck than most with the draw monster. A staying on fourth in the Forward Gal gives her place claims in this race and a recent canter at TAM suggests she is in the right frame of mind.


I have seen $100 ungraded stakes more competitive than this $600 Oaks qualifier and Mb Stables must be thrilled that they look to have the best two fillies in the field by a decent margin. Present Tense looks the obvious choice over the stable mate with maybe Third Gear being the biggest danger although this field lacks some depth and maybe throwing a few outsiders in the trifecta may be the way to go. I would be having a  gold coin each way on Ifyerwokeyerajoke just in case.

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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