Ashado captures Kentucky Oaks

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Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Post-time favorite Ashado ran down Madcap Escapade to win Friday's $500,000 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The Oaks is the female companion race to the Kentucky Derby. Ridden by John Velazquez, Ashado ran through the muddy Churchill track to cover the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 4/5. The win was worth $300,000.

The pace in the Kentucky Oaks was set by Madcap Escapade with a group of fillies trailing by three lengths. Ashado was running third for most of the race.

The eventual winner began to close around the turn for home. Madcap Escapade still had the lead at the top of stretch. Ashado caught the leader in deep stretch with Island Sand closing for second. The final margin of victory was one length. Madcap Escapade held third with Victory U.S.A fourth and Hollywood Story fifth in the 11 filly field.

Eclipse Award winner Halfbridled was scratched Friday morning from the race. The champion two-year-old filly of 2003 tied up during her early morning training. She developed muscle cramps for the second time this month.

Ashado is owned by Starlight Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher. The three-year-old has now won six of nine career starts for nearly $1.2 million. In the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, Madcap Escapade held off Ashado by a half- length.

Madcap Escapade lost for the first time in her five-race career.

Ashado returned $6.60, $4.20 and $3.00. Island Sand paid $12.00 and $5.80, and Madcap Escapade paid $3.60 for show.

The weather forecast for the 130th Kentucky Derby calls for rain showers in the morning with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and highs around 75.

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