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'Ashley Choice in Friday Feature

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Richard Averill’s 5-year-old mare Easy Ashley was the 9-to-5 favorite to win the $50,000 Lightning Stakes last out on Dec. 12 at Tampa Bay Downs and finished a game second by a half-length. She appears to be in a somewhat softer spot in Friday’s ‘a other than’ allowance feature at Gulfstream Park, both races run at five furlongs on turf.

Jockey Jesus Castanon rides Easy Ashley for trainer Wesley Ward in a field of 12 fillies and mares after a campaign that began last year winning a starter/allowance race going five furlongs on turf at Atlantic City in mid-April. Ward bred the daughter of Bring the Heat in California. Easy Ashley also won turf sprint races at Churchill Downs and Saratoga last year, and finished a close-up third in a Santa Anita allowance on the Pro-Ride synthetic surface in October before shipping back east.

Also likely to attract support in Friday’s feature is Avalon Farm’s 4-year-old homebred filly Argyle Pink with Julien Leparoux aboard for trainer Eddie Kenneally as the daughter of Sky Mesa makes her turf debut. Argyle Pink, third in the Matron Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park as a 2-year-old, finished seventh in her only start last year, but looked good finishing third here in an allowance on Jan. 15.

Completing the field are Elisabeth Alexander’s Pina Colada,  Patricia Generazio’s Shimmering Tina, Lawrence Foggle’s Cherry on Top, Mike Tarp’s County Lass, Eaton Hall Farm’s Caoutchouc, Doubledown Stable’s Allaboutimage, Andrew Farm’s Obsequious, Michael Ryan’s Bright Star, New Suffolk Racing’s Dancing With Lions and Everett Dobson’s French Dip, the latter entered for ‘main track only.’

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