The 2016 spring meet at Keeneland opens this weekend with two high profile races. Post positions were drawn Tuesday for the Bluegrass and Ashland Stakes. John Servis is the trainer for horse Cathryn Sophia in the $500,000 Ashland Stakes this Saturday, “If she can get the job done here then I think that will certainly give her a lot more confidence going into the Oaks. It will give me a lot more too, I can tell you that.”
The Bluegrass is traditionally regarded as a key prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Ashford Stud’s Charlie O’Connor is working with Zulu who will break out of the fourth spot in the $1 million Bluegrass. “He’s a tough horse and I think he’s a big battler which we need for these kind of races,” added O’Connor.
Keeneland President Bill Thomason says the excitement surrounding a grand-slam-winner last year sets the stage for this spring’s racing, “Obviously, I think having the Breeder’s Cup and having American Pharoah, this Triple Crown horse who was here for the first ever grand slam has heightened the awareness of Keeneland in some places and especially around the world.”
Fourteen horses are scheduled to go to the post Saturday for the Bluegrass Stakes. A total of 38 previous winners have gone on to win at least one of the Triple Crown races.