LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Keeneland Spring Meet is officially underway with Friday’s opening day in the books, headlined by the 85th running of the Central Bank Ashland (G1).
Nest, a Kentucky-bred horse trained by Todd A. Pletcher took the $600,000 purse and the high prize of 100 qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. led the filly to the finish line with 2-1 odds.
“She’s, nice she’s gonna be in the Kentucky Oaks now Todd did a great job thanks to the owner and trainer she moved great more than what I wanted to she looked great,” Ortiz, Jr. said in the winner’s circle.
100 qualifying points shoots Nest up to 3rd place on the leaderboard, locking in a spot in next month’s Kentucky Oaks. Kathleen O. and Echo Zulu are 1st and 2nd on the board.
“Really impressive she blew the race open at the start and it was only a matter of how much she far was gonna win by and happy to see wrap up on her late and take care of her for hopefully a bigger win down the road,” Pletcher said.
Nest is owned by Mike Repole of Repole Stable, Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Michael House.
“He put the race to bed in 1/8 of a mile and from there she got more impressive so knock on wood she comes out of this good and 4 weeks from now we’ll be across town in Louisville it’s an incredible group of fillies and man whoever walks away with those lilies in 4 weeks time is really gonna earn it,” Wellman said.
With opening day a success, all eyes turn to Saturday’s headliner: the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes with 100 points on the line for the winner to run at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Post time is set for 5:10 p.m.