Keeneland’s Ashland recap:
LEXINGTON, KY (April 6, 2019) – Commonwealth Stable’s Out for a Spin, the longest shot on the board at 52-1, turned back a challenge from Restless Rider in the stretch to win the 82nd running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) for 3-year-old fillies by a neck.
Trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by Paco Lopez, Out for a Spin covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.95. It is the first victory in the race for Stewart and Lopez.
The victory was worth $300,000 and 100 points on the road to the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), to be run May 3 at Churchill Downs. A total of 34 fillies that have run in the Ashland have gone on to win the Oaks, including Monomoy Girl last year.
“She hasn’t done much wrong,” Stewart said. “She’s won her last two out of three, and she did it impressively. She trains great. In this great game that we have, there are ups and downs, and this an up. Great to have a win today with this big, beautiful filly. She took it (almost) wire-to-wire, and Paco gave her a great ride. We’re going take it to the Kentucky Oaks from here.”
Out for a Spin, whose two previous victories from four starts had come over wet tracks, tracked favored Jaywalk, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2018, through fractions of :23.19 and :46.46. On the far turn, Restless Rider ranged up to make it a three-way scramble before Jaywalk backed out of the fray.
Restless Rider appeared to take aim on Out for a Spin, but with Lopez riding the rail, Out for a Spin surged again to prevail by a neck.
“The trip was good except for not winning,” said Brian Hernandez Jr., who rode Restless Rider. “For a filly that hasn’t run since last November, she stepped up and ran a big race. You always want to win these Grade 1s but you’ve gotta be proud of her and look forward to the Oaks. She kept fighting, from the sixteenth pole home she was getting tired, but she kept digging and fighting at that filly. She wanted to win and she laid it all out there.”
“This sets us up good for the Kentucky Oaks,” said trainer Kenny McPeek. “Brian said she got a little tired and couldn’t quite get past the winner. We are in a good position for the next dance. We are pleased.”
Out for a Spin has 100 Oaks points, fifth on the leaderboard, and a secure spot in the starting gate for the 1 1/8-mile race that is limited to the top 14 point earners that pass the entry box. Restless Rider, making her 2019 debut, picked up 40 points to boost her total to 62 (eighth) that also should be enough to get in the gate. Third-place Jaywalk added 20 points to hike her total to 55 (10th).
A Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate, Out for a Spin is a Virginia-bred daughter of Hard Spun out of the Came Home mare My Mammy. Now with a record of 5-3-0-1, Out for a Spin has earned $354,903.
Out for a Spin returned $106.20, $23.40 and $6.60. Restless Rider, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., returned $4.20 and $2.60 and finished 1¾ lengths in front of 2018 2-year-old filly champion Jaywalk, who paid $2.60 to show under Javier Castellano.
“She was on the lead, she did take the pace but the winner was right next to me,” Castellano said. “I didn’t have any excuse today. Turning for home, I asked her a little bit and she didn’t respond like she was supposed to. But what I liked is that she never gave up. At the top of the stretch she kept digging to be third place.”
Said trainer John Servis: “I was very happy with her effort. I think this sets her up for the Kentucky Oaks. She is right where we want her to be. Hindsight being 20-20, I wish we would have sat off the pace a little bit. I thought she was the best filly. I told Javier to put her on the lead. She got pressured from the outside. At the sixteenth pole when they spread out, she went to running again. Javier said we would have been better off if we sat off the pace.”
It was another 4¼ lengths back to Bizwhacks in fourth with Lady Kate, Chocolate Kisses and Bell’s the One following in order. Bizwhacks added 10 points to her Oaks resume for a total of 20 (23rd).