Saturday’s Central Bank Ashland Stakes will offer 3-year-old fillies a chance to qualify for the Sept. 4 Longines Kentucky Oaks, and it will be the first time the race has ever been contested in July. Although Keeneland’s April meet had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the track is running a brief, stakes-filled meet this week including its historic Oaks qualifier.
Read on for nine fun facts about the 2020 Ashland Stakes.
1. The race was first contested in 1936, the same year Keeneland opened. This year is the 83rd running.
2. A total of 13 fillies have parlayed a win in the Ashland into a Kentucky Oaks victory, most recently Monomoy Girl in 2018.
3. No filly has finished the race faster than eventual Kentucky Oaks winner Silverbulletday in 1999. She completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 3/5.
4. The betting favorite has won the race just twice in the last 14 years, a 14.3% success rate.
5. In 2014, there were two winners in the Ashland: Room Service and Rosalind hit the finish line simultaneously, resulting in the only dead heat win in the race’s history.
6. Three of the last five Kentucky Oaks winners raced in the Ashland prior to their Oaks victory: Monomoy Girl (1st in the 2018 Ashland), Cathryn Sophia (3rd, 2016), and Lovely Maria (1st, 2015).
7. Dun-Cee rewarded her backers by earning them a record $136.80 for every $2 win bet in 1967 after being sent off at odds of 67-1.
9. This year’s race is worth $400,000 and 170 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points, including $240,000 and 100 points reserved for the winner.