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Carina Mia To Recover Lost Time In Ashland Stakes at Keeneland

Carina Mia To Recover Lost Time In Ashland Stakes at Keeneland: Carina Mia, the winner of the Golden Rod Stakes (GII) run at a distance of 1-1/16 miles at Churchill Downs on November 28, 2015, is scheduled to make her three-year-old debut this Saturday, April 9, in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (GI) at Keeneland. Most people would suppose that this filly had a setback that delayed her return, but she did not. Since February, Carina Mia has been training at Payson Park Thoroughbred Training Center in Indiantown, Florida, in preparation for her three-year-old debut in early March. Unfortunately, one horse tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus on February 29. That episode generated a 21-day quarantine at Payson Park starting March 1, a circumstance that definitely affected the schedules of the horses that are training at Payson. Even though the horses were able to continue exercising, they weren’t able to leave the training center.

ashland stakes 2016

Cash is King LLC’s undefeated Cathryn Sophia was installed as the even-money favorite in a field of five 3-year-old fillies entered Tuesday for Saturday’s 79th running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland.

Carina Mia, a speedy daughter of Malibu Moon out of Miss Simpatia (ARG), by Southern Halo, and a half-sibling to graded stakes winner Miss Match (ARG), has a record of two wins in three starts, including a new track record at 6½ furlongs the day she broke her maiden. You don’t see two-year-olds do that very often, so her performance was deemed brilliant that day. Carina Mia who was bred at Spendthrift Farm, is owned by Three Chimneys Farm, LCC, and is usually ridden by Julien Leparoux.

In her second start, Carina Mia faced fillies considered to be Oaks contenders like Stageplay and Dothraki Queen. Over a sloppy track, Carina Mia held off Stageplay’s move and repelled the field to win by 4-1/4 lengths. Immediately after the race, the first thing that came to people’s minds was that Carina Mia took advantage of the sloppy track because she is by Malibu Moon, whose progeny usually love the slop. However, that theory falls under its own weight because the filly set a new track record over a fast track in her previous start.

Carina Mia took a short break before restarting her worktab in early February and never stopped working until now. The aforementioned quarantine essentially ruined her race schedule and reduced Carina Mia’s strategy to running in just one prep for the Kentucky Oaks.

Even though it is not the best strategy, it is not the end of the world. Carina Mia will have a shot in the Ashland Stakes against a tough field, which includes the undefeated Cathryn Sophia, Rachel’s Valentina, Banree, and Weep No More.

However, the filly with the most preparation is Cathryn Sophia since she has two starts this year at Gulfstream Park, the Forward Gal Stakes (GII) and the Fasig–Tipton Davona Dale (GII). Rachel’s Valentina, runner-up to Songbird in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, will make her three-year-old debut on Saturday since her connections decided on that strategy for her.

Certainly, Carina Mia’s plans were affected by the quarantine and will thus give some advantage to the favorite Cathryn Sophia, but Carina Mia has demonstrated enough quality to put up a fight. A win or just a good run in the Ashland at Keeneland would have her ready to challenge Songbird in the Kentucky Oaks.

Central Bank Ashland Stakes 2016 Post Position and Odds
Race 6 3:38 PM ET
1 Weep No More 20-1 Lanerie/ Arnold II
2 Banree 20-1 Jimenez / Ward
3 Cathryn Sophia 1-1 Castellano/Servis
4 Rachel’s Valentina 3-1 Geroux/Pletcher
5 Carina Mia 7-5 Leparoux/Mott