An excellent field of five sophomores fillies will square off in the $400,000 Ashland (G1) as part of a fantastic Saturday card at Keeneland.

Ashland Analysis

Grade 2 heroine #2 Venetian Harbor is the speed of the field and will take advantage of her inner draw as the leader early on. #6 Speech will track her with intent from the start.

Ashland Contenders

#1 ALTA’S AWARD (20-1) — Tonalist filly has lacked consistency this season and would need a career-topping effort to challenge a fine cast on Saturday. Asmussen trainee has been a distant fourth in two straight and looks overmatched on Saturday.

#2 VENETIAN HARBOR (6-5) — Fleet Las Virgenes (G2) romper was run down late when runner-up in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn last time out. Talented Baltas pupil comes in fresh for her third assignment of the season and seems poised to be tough while leading from the early stages. Joel Rosario has the call atop the pick

#3 BONNY SOUTH (5-1) — Last-out Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) starlet continues to improve for conditioner Brad Cox. Munnings chestnut has moved forward since adding blinkers two prior, and she wouldn’t be a surprise against these with another step in the right direction. John Velazquez will guide the win contender.

#4 ENVOUTANTE (5-1) — Sneaky player in the field has run her best three races on the dirt, including a sharp allowance tally at Churchill Downs last time out. McPeek charge has a superb turn of foot and could be dangerous at a fair price if the pace backs up late. Jose Ortiz stays in the silks.

#5 TONALIST’S SHAPE (6-1) — Reportedly scratching in favor of next Saturday’s Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).

#6 SPEECH (2-1) — Consistently very good Mr Speaker filly has never been worse than second from five lifetime races on the dirt. The McCarthy charge draws well on the outside of a compact field, and she comes in with a pair of recent bullet morning moves as well. Florida-bred will track the pace with Javier Castellano riding.

Ashland Wagers

  • $20 Win: #2 Venetian Harbor ($20)
  • $10 Exacta: 2 with 3,4 ($20)