British Idiom, whose victory in Keeneland’s Darley Alcibiades (G1) in October 2019 propelled her to a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the Eclipse Award as champion 2-old-filly for her undefeated season, and recent Rachel Alexandra (G2) winner Finite, the leading point earner on the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1), headline the 90 3-year-old fillies nominated to the 83rd running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) on April 4, opening Saturday of Keeneland’s Spring Meet.
The 1 1/16-mile Central Bank Ashland awards 100 points to the winner on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The next three finishers receive 40 points, 20 points and 10 points, respectively.
Thirty-four fillies who raced in the Central Bank Ashland have won the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, including recent winners champion Monomoy Girl (2018), Cathryn Sophia (2016) and Lovely Maria (2015).
Click here for a list of Central Bank Ashland nominees; click here for their past performances. Post positions for the Central Bank Ashland and the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2), a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) also on April 4, will be drawn Wednesday, April 1.
The Central Bank Ashland, the ninth race on April 4 with a 5:45 p.m. ET post, and the Toyota Blue Grass at 6:23 p.m., are part of Keeneland’s spectacular 11-race card that day with five graded stakes worth $2.25 million. Other stakes are the $300,000 Madison (G1) for fillies and mares at 7 furlongs on the dirt; $200,000 Shakertown (G2) for 3-year-olds and up at 5½ furlongs on the turf; and $250,000 Commonwealth (G3) for older horses at 7 furlongs on the dirt.
That day, Keeneland will offer a $400,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four and a $300,000-guaranteed All Stakes Pick Five.
British Idiom, a daughter of Flashback trained by Brad Cox, is owned by Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables. She was second to Finite in the Rachel Alexandra on Feb. 15.
Finite also won the 2019 Golden Rod (G2) and Rags to Riches Stakes and the 2020 Silverbulletday Stakes. Steve Asmussen trains the Munnings filly for Winchell Thoroughbreds, Thomas J. Reiman, William Dickson and Deborah A. Easter.
Other fillies on the top 10 of the Oaks leaderboard who are nominated to the Central Bank Ashland are Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Starlet (G1) runner-up Donna Veloce, owned by Kaleem Shah, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith; Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Frizette (G1) winner Wicked Whisper; Forward Gal (G3) and Hut Hut Stakes winner Tonalist’s Shape, owned by Slam Dunk Racing, Doug Branham and Legacy Ranch; and Godolphin’s Demoiselle (G2) winner Lake Avenue.
Also nominated are such fillies as Las Virgenes (G2) winner Venetian Harbor, who races for Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm and Dominic Savides; Suncoast Stakes and Sandpiper Stakes winner Lucrezia, owned by Edward A. Seltzer and Beverly S. Anderson; and Busanda Stakes winner Harvey’s Lil Goil, owned by the Estate of Harvey A. Clarke and Paul Braverman.
Bob Baffert leads all trainers by nominees to the Central Bank Ashland, with 10. Steve Asmussen’s five nominees also include Wicked Whisper.
The late nomination period for the Central Bank Ashland is Wednesday, March 18.
TVG will provide live, enhanced coverage of all Keeneland stakes during the 16-day Spring Meet, which begins Thursday, April 2, and concludes Friday, April 24. First post on opening day is 3 p.m. The eight-race card includes the second running of the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds at 5½ furlongs on the turf.
First post for the remainder of the season is 1:05 p.m.
After the four-day opening weekend, Keeneland will hold the April Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale on Tuesday. April 7. Preview Day, on which cataloged horses will work on dirt or turf, is Monday, April 6.
Racing resumes Wednesday, April 8, and will be held Wednesdays through Sundays, except Easter Sunday, April 12, when Keeneland is closed.