Talented field of six takes aim at Grade 1 glory in Ashland

Talented field of six takes aim at Grade 1 glory in Ashland
Photo: Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Grade 2 stakes winners Bonny South, Tonalist’s Shape and Venetian Harbor headline a field of six 3-year-old fillies entered for Saturday’s 83rd running of the $400,000 Ashland Stakes (G1) going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The Ashland offers 170 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on a 100-40-20-10 scale to the first four finishers. The $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks is limited to the top 14 point earners that pass the entry box for the Sept. 4 race.

Post time for the Ashland, the seventh race on Saturday’s 10-race program, is 4:24 p.m. Eastern.

Juddmonte Farms’ Bonny South, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 21, has been working consistently at Keeneland since late April. Trained by Brad Cox, who won the 2018 Ashland with champion Monomoy Girl, Bonny South is second on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 100 points.

John Velazquez, who rode Fleet Renee to an Ashland victory in 2001, has the mount on Bonny South and will break from post position three

Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm and Dominic Savides’ Venetian Harbor, winner of the Las Virgenes (G3) at Santa Anita, comes in from California for trainer Richard Baltas. Standing 11th on the Oaks leaderboard with 50 points, Venetian Harbor finished second behind Swiss Skydiver in the Fantasy (G3) in her most recent start finishing 10¾ lengths ahead of the third-place finisher.

Joel Rosario has the mount on Venetian Harbor and will break from post position two.

Slam Dunk Racing, Doug Branham and Legacy Ranch’s Tonalist’s Shape is seventh on the Oaks leaderboard with 60 points. A winner of six of seven career starts for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., Tonalist’s Shape has victories this year in the Davona Dale (G2) and Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Tyler Gaffalione has the mount on Tonalist’s Shape and will exit post five.

2020 Ashland (G1)

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