Lothenbach Stables' undefeated Bell's the One completed her major preparation for next Saturday's $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) by working 5 furlongs in company in 1:00 over a fast main track Friday morning at Keeneland.
Starting five lengths in back of Tell Your Daddy, a 3-year-old maiden, Bell's the One recorded fractions of :25, :36.40, :48, 1:00 and out 6 furlongs in 1:14.20. She pulled even with her workmate at the eighth pole and finished nearly a length in front at the wire.
The Central Bank Ashland will serve as the graded stakes debut for Bell's the One, who has won on all-weather at Arlington, dirt at Keeneland and turf at Fair Grounds.
“She got sick on me at the Fair Grounds before the Silverbulletday and the Rachel Alexandra (G2),” trainer Neil Pessin said. “I threw her in to the mile race on the turf (the LaCombe Memorial on March 9) to see if she'd handle two turns and she did.”
Bell's the One won her debut at Arlington as a 32-1 longshot but was no longshot in Pessin's eyes.
“I knew she was good before she ran because there was nothing in the barn that could stay with her,” Pessin said. “I don't know about being a Grade 1 horse, but I thought she would be a stakes horse.”
Florent Geroux, who has been aboard for two of her victories, will have the mount in the Central Bank Ashland.
Another Central Bank Ashland hopeful, Needs Supervision, and a possible starter in the race, Oxy Lady, also worked Friday.
Silverbulletday Stakes winner Needs Supervision, owned by Howling Pigeon Farms, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Madaket Stables, worked a half-mile in :47.60 with trainer Jerry O'Dwyer. Working on her own, Needs Supervision posted fractions of :12.60, :23.80, :35.60, :47.60 and out 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 and six furlongs in 1:14.40.
“We beat the weather,” O'Dwyer said of working Friday ahead of a potential rainy Saturday. “The track was riding very smooth.”
A winner of three of five starts with stops at four tracks, Needs Supervision enters the Central Bank Ashland off a fifth-place finish in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) on Feb. 16.
“She was just not herself that day,” said O'Dwyer, who will have Adam Beschizza aboard next Saturday.
With jockey Jack Gilligan aboard for trainer Jack Sisterson, Calumet Farm's Oxy Lady covered 5 furlongs in 1:01.
“She did it in hand and Jack (Gilligan) has worked her at Fair Grounds,” Sisterson said. “She could have gone :58.”
Sisterson said the Central Bank Ashland or the $300,000 Gazelle (G2) at Aqueduct on the same day are the options for Oxy Lady.
“She's the boss; she'll tell us,” Sisterson said. “We will see how she comes out of the work and make a decision Monday or Tuesday. If she goes to New York, the plane is Wednesday.”
Oxy Lady has accumulated 21 qualifying points toward the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), good for the 13th on the leaderboard for the race that is limited to the top 14 point earners that pass the entry box. Both the Central Bank Ashland and Gazelle offer 170 Oaks points on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the top four finishers.
“Originally we were going to skip those two races and if she has enough points go in the Oaks,” Sisterson said. “If not, we would wait for the (May 17) Black-Eyed Susan (G2 at Pimlico), but she is doing so good now.”
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