Ashland Tops Opening Weekend at Keeneland

The doors open for business on Friday at one of the most revered race venues in the U. S., Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. This short spring meeting runs from April 5-26, but it doesn’t lack for quality, with 15 graded stakes packed into the three-week run.

April 13 is the biggest day here, with five graded stakes races, including the $750,000 Bluegrass S. (G1). Also on that day is the $300,000 Jenny Wiley S. (G1), $300,000 Madison S. (G1), $100,000 Shakertown S. (G3) and the $175,000 Commonwealth S. (G2).

Friday April 12 will play host to the $300,000 Makers 46 Mile (G1), while the meeting will conclude with the $150,000 Elkhorn S. (G2) on closing day.

The $500,000 Ashland S. (G1) for three-year-old fillies on Saturday tops the opening weekend. Two-time Canadian graded winner Spring Venture and Alcibiades S. (G1) queen Spring in the Air, both from the barn of Mark Casse, look to be the ones to beat in this affair. The former has not been in good form since winning her first three in fine fashion, but she also has excuses for both and she could offer some value on the Polytrack, where she is unbeaten.

Spring in the Air is unraced since being fifth in the Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita, but is a Grade 1 winner on this circuit and could pop a big one while fresh. West Coast import Kyriaki, Alcibiades runner-up Broken Spell and impressive Florida Oaks (G3) victress Tapicat, who has rolled home to a trio of wins in succession, are also likely for this race.  

Friday will feature sophomores on the turf in the $100,000 Transylvania S. (G3).