J. Stable and Cash is King's Jaywalk, champion 2-year-old filly of 2018, was installed as the 8-5 favorite in a field of eight 3-year-old fillies entered Wednesday for Saturday's 82nd running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
The 1 1/16-mile main track test offers 170 points toward the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) to be run May 3 at Churchill Downs with 100 points going to the winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 to third place and 10 to fourth. The Oaks is limited to the top 14 point earners that pass the entry box and currently the cut line is 22 points.
Thirty-four fillies who raced in the Central Bank Ashland have won the Kentucky Oaks, including three of the past four Oaks winners: champion Monomoy Girl (2018), Cathryn Sophia (2016) and Lovely Maria (2015).
The Central Bank Ashland, one of two Grade 1 races Saturday, will go as the ninth race on the 11-race program with a 5:45 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by John Servis, Jaywalk closed her 2018 campaign with daylight victories in the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park and the Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs to earn an Eclipse Award.
In her 2019 debut, she finished fourth in the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 2. Javier Castellano, who won the 2011 Central Bank Ashland on Lilacs and Lace, has the mount on Jaywalk and will break from post position four.
Jaywalk has accumulated 35 points toward the Oaks.
Second choice on the morning line at 5-2 and sitting on the Oaks cut line with 22 points is Three Chimneys Farm and Fern Circle Stables Restless Rider.
Trained by two-time Ashland winner Kenny McPeek, Restless Rider won the Darley Alcibiades (G1) here last fall before running second to Jaywalk in the Breeders' Cup.
Restless Rider, who has compiled a 6-3-3-0 record, will be making her 2019 debut Saturday and will be ridden as usual by Brian Hernandez Jr. and break from post position six.
Two other graded stakes winners are in the field: Klaravich Stables' Feedback and Debby Oxley's Chocolate Kisses.
Feedback, trained by Chad Brown, is undefeated in two starts and the third choice on linemaker Mike Battaglia's morning line at 3-1. She picked up 10 Oaks points with a victory in the Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 2. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position five.
Chocolate Kisses (the 5-1 fourth choice), who picked up 50 of her 51 Oaks points with a victory in her most recent start in the March 9 Honeybee (G3) at Oaklawn, has won both of her 2019 starts. Trained by Mark Casse, Chocolate Kisses will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and break from post position two.
The field for the Central Bank Ashland, with riders and morning-line odds, from the rail out is: Bizwhacks (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1), Chocolate Kisses (Gaffalione, 5-1), Lady Kate (Corey Lanerie, 15-1), Jaywalk (Castellano, 8-5), Feedback (Ortiz Jr., 3-1), Restless Rider (Hernandez Jr., 5-2), Bell's the One (Florent Geroux, 15-1) and Out for a Spin (Paco Lopez, 20-1). All starters will carry 121 pounds.
CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND QUOTES
Tyler Servis, assistant to his father, John Servis, trainer of champion and 8-5 morning-line favorite Jaywalk, post 4; Javier Castellano to ride
“With her early speed, she can come from any post position. She's got enough speed to cross over and not be stuck out wide. From the 4 hole, you really don't need to worry about that anyway. She should leave there running and should be forwardly placed.”
Kenny McPeek, trainer of Restless Rider, post 6; 5-2 second choice on the morning line; Brian Hernandez Jr. to ride
“Our goal is to get third or better. I don't have any doubt she is going to run well and that she will be highly competitive (from any post). She really does like it out here (at Keeneland).”
Neil Pessin, trainer of Bell's the One, post 7; 15-1 on the morning line; Florent Geroux to ride
“That is perfect. The speed is to the inside of us and Flo (jockey Florent Geroux) has the choice of what he wants to do and is not forced to do anything.”
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