How to bet the 2022 Ashland Stakes

April 8th, 2022

A strong field of eight sophomore fillies will contest the opening day feature at Keeneland, the $600,000 Ashland S. (G1). The 1 1/16-mile affair is worth a total of 170 points (100-40-20-10) on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Oaks challenge series leaderboard.

Trainer Kenny McPeek is always a factor when he saddles horses at the Lexington, Kentucky venue and he is responsible for my top selection, #7 Cocktail Moments (12-1). The dark bay daughter of Uncle Mo left a fine impression of herself on debut beneath the Twin Spires in the fall when driving home a superb, 9 1/4-length winner in a seven-furlong tilt. Cocktail Moments is winless in her two performances since, but she has run well enough to remain a very good three-year-old prospect in my opinion.

The Dixiana Farms homebred was third in the Untapable S. to conclude her juvenile season, and she rallied to be third behind the unblemished Kathleen O in the Davona Dale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park in her seasonal bow. She has a lot of room to move forward in her second off the shelf, and I expect a huge showing with Corey Lanerie returning to the irons.

A deep cast awaits my top selection in the high-quality affair. #2 Interstatedaydream (5-2) flashed ability at two with a debut win followed by a late-running second in the Adirondack S. (G2) at Saratoga in her brief juvenile campaign, and the daughter of Classic Empire kicked off 2022 in a big way as well. The Brad Cox pupil was impressive in dusting allowance foes at Oaklawn Park off the long absence and seems poised to factor in this spot following a recent bullet morning move in tow. The bay will have Florent Geroux in the silks.

Todd Pletcher’s #4 Nest (2-1), who concluded her two-year-old season with a gutsy victory in the Demoiselle S. (G2), picked up right where she left off with a dominant performance in the Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay where she registered a massive 113 Brisnet Late Pace figure last time out. The Curlin bay has tactical speed, a huge turn of foot, and she is lightly raced with a lot of room to improve. Irad Ortiz will guide the formidable filly.

I will also include the Doug O’Neill-trained #3 Awake at Midnyte (4-1). The three-time graded stakes placed daughter of Nyquist has never run a bad one from four lifetime showings, and she could be any kind in her Keeneland debut following a swift six-furlong work most recently. Regular pilot Mario Gutierrez coming in to ride is a major plus.

Ashland Wagers

  • $15 win and show #7 Cocktail Moments ($30)
  • $3 exacta key box 7 with 2, 3, 4 ($18)
  • $1 trifecta key 7 with 2, 3, 4 ($6)
  • $1 trifecta 2, 3, 4 with 7 with 2, 3, 4 ($6)