Saturday, April 05, 2014
More Than Ready's Room Service battles to dead heat in Grade 1 Ashland
Room Service came from last after a half-mile to finish on even terms with Rosalind in Saturday's $500,000 Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland.
Along with Ready Signal, who won the $75,000 Powder Break S. at Gulfstream Park, More Than Ready had two stakes winners on the day.
After languishing near the back of the 13-horse field for the first half-mile, Room Service began to advance well off the rail in the second turn. Shaun Bridgmohan took the 3-year-old filly very wide to avoid traffic coming into the short stretch.
Rosalind meanwhile, had gotten the jump earlier, and had a length lead with a furlong to run. Room Service began to eat into that lead, however, and the pair hit the wire together.
The two fillies completed the 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:43.38 to produce the first dead heat in a Grade 1 race at Keeneland.
“I thought I got nosed out,” said her trainer Wayne Catalano. “From the angle I had, I thought it was very, very close and it looked like I got nosed out. But when it took that long (to determine the winner) I said, ‘OK, I’ll settle for a dead heat now.’ ”
“She has matured and she is learning her job. I was very excited about the way she has settled down and learned how to do things instead of being young and excited."
Catalano said the Oaks decision would be up to the owners.
“I will talk to the owners. They like to run in these big races. That's what we are all in the game for. Mr. (Gary) West is here today and that is a beautiful thing. I don’t get to see him that often and to win a big race was great.”
Room Service received 70 points toward a spot in the starting gate in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Room Service, bred in Kentucky by her owners Gary and Mary West, is out of the Old Trieste mare Dream Lady. Room Service has earned $336,565, with a record of 6-3-1-2. She took the Herecomesthebride S. (G3) earlier this year for her first stakes win.