Ashado best of best in Ky. Oaks

She overtakes `Escapade,' holds off `Sand' in stakes

May 01, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Once considered a candidate for the Kentucky Derby, Ashado defeated the country's top 3-year-old fillies in the $572,000 Kentucky Oaks yesterday at Churchill Downs before a crowd of 98,445.

The Oaks, the Grade I filly counterpart to the Derby, featured a stellar field, and Ashado proved best by running down the previously undefeated Madcap Escapade and then holding off the charging Island Sand.

Ashado, the 2-1 favorite trained by Todd Pletcher, paid $6.60 to win after completing 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 50.81 seconds on a muddy track.

Madcap Escapade blazed to the lead and ran the fastest half mile (46 seconds) and fastest six furlongs (1 minute, 9.99 seconds) in Oaks history. She faded to third. Island Sand rallied from 10th for second.

In other Churchill stakes, Lead Story at 10-1 captured the Grade II, $327,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup, while Sightseek, the 2-5 favorite, finished fourth. Jerry Bailey, Sightseek's jockey, said she despised the track.

Kitten's Joy won the Grade III, $113,800 Crown Royal American Turf for his fifth straight victory. Lydgate rallied to win the Grade III $114,700 Aegon Turf Sprint Stakes. Congrats won the $113,600 Alysheba Stakes. And Galloping Gal captured the $116,700 Edgewood Stakes.

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