04/06/2013 5:06PM

Keeneland: Emollient dominates Ashland on one week of rest

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Coady Photography/Keeneland
Emollient wins the Ashland by nine easy lengths under jockey Mike Smith.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Giving Juddmonte Farms and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott their second contender for the 139th Kentucky Oaks in less than a one-hour span, Emollient turned in one of the most one-sided performances in the history of the Ashland Stakes when blowing away the opposition Saturday in the 76th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 race at Keeneland.

With her and Mike Smith getting away swiftly from the outside post in a field of 13 3-year-old fillies, Emollient quickly negated that supposed disadvantage when clearing the field into the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile race. She widened on an easy lope from there, finishing an eased-up nine lengths ahead of runner-up Tuttipaesi. Kitten’s Point was third and Wave Theory was fourth.

“When she jumped out of there well, I took advantage of it,” said Smith. “It was all her from there on. I was very comfortable the whole way. I never felt any challenges. I saw myself over there [on the infield JumboTron] and said, ‘OK, that’s enough.’”

The win margin was the fourth-biggest in race history and the largest since Sis City won the 2005 renewal by 10 1/2 lengths. Myrtlewood still has the mark after winning the 1936 inaugural by 12 lengths.

Emollient returned $14.40 after finishing in 1:43.49 over Polytrack. She joins her Juddmonte stablemate, Close Hatches, as a prime candidate for the May 3 Oaks at Churchill Downs. Close Hatches remained unbeaten for Juddmonte and Mott in winning the Grade 2 Gazelle on Saturday at Aqueduct.

With the Ashland victory, Emollient earned 100 points in the new system for eligibility into the Oaks field, which is limited to 14.

Emollient was coming off a 30-length defeat in the Gulfstream Park Oaks the prior Saturday, leading Mott to draw a line through the race and give her another chance. Running back on such short rest is out of character for Mott, but he said earlier in the week he felt the filly just spun her wheels over the Gulfstream dirt and was deserving of a quick return.

Emollient is a homebred by Empire Maker out of Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold. The bay filly had won 2 of 5 prior starts, with the Ashland marking her first stakes win.

The lopsided finish was in stark contrast to the toteboard as the Ashland field went to the post. Spring In the Air was a lukewarm 4-1 favorite, with Tuttipaesi 9-2 and three more fillies, including Emollient, at 6-1.

Three fillies were early scratches, including two also-eligibles from the original oversubscribed cast of 16.

Ontrack attendance on a breezy, mostly sunny afternoon was 32,564.

The $2 exacta (13-1) paid $128.40; the $1 trifecta (13-1-7) returned $333.90; and the 10-cent superfecta (13-1-7-12) was worth $303.69.

Howe Great wins turf allowance

Earlier Saturday, Howe Great ($13.20), with Alan Garcia aboard, pulled a mild upset in a $67,878 grass allowance when forcing all the pace and finishing a half-length safe of a torrid late run by 36-1 shot Middie. Air Support, always prominent, was just another nose back in third.

Howe Great, the only 4-year-old in a field of graded-caliber older horses, completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:47.89 over a firm turf. A homebred by Hat Trick, the colt is owned by Team Valor International and trained by Graham Motion, the soon-to-split tandem that won the $10 million Dubai World Cup one week beforehand with Animal Kingdom.

Clearly the disappointments in the race were Al Khali, fifth as the 2-1 favorite, and Turallure, sixth as the 5-2 second choice when making his first start in more than nine months.

MatthewJEllis2 More than 1 year ago
Interesting turn of events why didn't she handle the track at gulfstream last week does any horse that loses handle a given racetrack!
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Loping home. :)
john deksnis More than 1 year ago
I can't believe anyone thinks Emollient's win somehow flatters Dreaming of Julia. Emollient -- as Mott was quoted as saying -- just spun her wheels against Julia. Didn't run a step; didn't like the track; expended zero energy -- whatever. How does any of that make Julia look better? Horses being "flattered" by what opponents do in subsequent races is one of the most absurd takes (or angles) that there is in horse racing. Anyway, Julia may well be great. But the fact is that no one showed up against her last week. Especially Emollient.
offbeatbull More than 1 year ago
You are clueless. Dreaming of Julia ran 2 seconds faster than the boys in the Florida Derby. She posted a 114 Beyer while Orb got a 97. Give me a break!
Jacques More than 1 year ago
@Not Impressed: Yup. I could never figure out that move, sending Empire Maker into exile. Collectively, U.S. commercial breeders are an incredibly short sighted bunch. Sad that their thinking has gone from avoiding distance and grass influences, for the most part, to sending classy sires like Empire Maker out of the U.S. market.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Juddmonte did manage to breed Frankel. I think they know what they are doing.
jttf More than 1 year ago
how do you make dreaming of julia look even better? take a filly who lost by 30 lengths to her and have her win easily in a grade 1.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
And yet another reason why selling Empire Maker to Japan was REALLY a bad idea!!
joakim muth More than 1 year ago
Get used to it, you will see that more overeseas owners will start selling of their US stock since the US horsemen insist on running the horses on drugs, next up will be Sheik Mo who will start cutting down on his US stock.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Why do the Japanese and Europeans come to our elite broodmare sales and snap up as many of our best mares as possible? Also, why is Sheik Mo planning on standing Animal Kingdom in Kentucky if he's cutting down on his American operation?
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
AK is going overseas.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
I think Juddmonte was disappointed with Empire Maker as a whole. Yes, he had some standouts (Bodemeister, Royal Delta to name two), but was not a consistent stallion. The price for him was reported to be in the 30 million range - it sounds like a good idea to me.
Frank Kulcsar More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith--wish he comes to Saratoga and re live the Glory days before spill-still one of the best-PERIOD