The first of five Grade 1 stakes held during Keeneland's Spring Meet is the $500,000 Ashland, and a total of 133 sophomore fillies have been nominated to the April 5 feature. Contested at 1 1/16 miles, the Ashland historically showcases classic-bound fillies, with the winner earning 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Among the 2014 nominees are Untapable (winner of the Pocahontas and Rachel Alexandra), Onlyforyou (Davona Dale and Forward Gal) and Awesome Baby (Santa Ynez and Santa Ysabel), currently tied for first on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 60 points each. Also nominated is She's a Tiger, the 2013 Eclipse Award winner as champion juvenile filly.
The complete list of Ashland nominees and past performances for each are available at keeneland.com.
A late nomination period for the Ashland closes March 26.
Todd Pletcher leads all trainers with 18 fillies nominated to the Ashland, followed by Chad Brown with seven nominees. Michael Matz, Michael Maker and Mark Casse each nominated six fillies.
Last year, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Emollient overcame the outside No. 13 post position and cruised to a front-running nine-length victory over Tuttipaesi in the Ashland. Emollient gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first Ashland victory and became the third Ashland winner for Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith.