Anderson Stables’ Lady Kate has raced only twice, but trainer Eddie Kenneally has every reason to believe she will be competitive in Saturday’s $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) at 1 1/16 miles.
Kenneally has a perfect Ashland record with two triumphs from as many attempts. He won in 2006 with Bushfire, who was 15-1, and in 2017 with 22-1 longshot Sailor’s Valentine.
“Lady Kate is a lightly raced filly, but I am encouraged by how she came up from Florida like the other two,” Kenneally said. “They thrived when they came to Keeneland. They liked the cooler air and the race track, which encouraged me to run them in the Ashland. Sailor’s Valentine worked really, really well over this track, and Lady Kate worked just as well here last Saturday.”
Lady Kate’s time that morning for 5 furlongs was :59.60, the best of 24 at the distance.
In her career debut on Jan. 12, Lady Kate won a Gulfstream Park maiden race. She next was second in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 9.
“There are horses in the Ashland with way more experience than her, but she is on the improve,” Kenneally said.
Bushfire’s Ashland score propelled Kenneally’s career to a new level that included his first year with more than $1 million in stable earnings.
“She gave our stable a nice kick start because she went on and won the Acorn (G1) and Mother Goose (G1),” he said about his first Grade 1 winner. “The Ashland moved her forward and moved my career forward as well.”