04/09/2011 5:52PM

Keeneland: Lilacs and Lace pays $99 in Ashland stunner


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lilacs and Lace rebounded from a 12-length defeat in a lesser race just two weeks beforehand to stun some of the best 3-year-old fillies in North America with a 48-1 upset Saturday in the 74th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

With Javier Castellano aboard, Lilacs and Lace was sent to the lead into the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile Ashland, then turned back all challengers from there to suddenly put herself in contention for the May 6 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. She returned $99.40 as the second-longest shot in a field of nine after finishing in 1:42.73 over Polytrack.

Wyomia was second, a length behind the winner, while Kathmanblu, the 2-1 favorite, was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.

Lilacs and Lace “broke well out of the gate” from post 2, said Castellano. “I didn’t want to take anything away from my horse. She had a perfect trip.”

Lilacs and Lace, a Kentucky-bred by Flower Alley, is owned by James Covello, Judy Hicks, and Kathryn Nikkel. In her last start, the March 26 Bourbonette Oaks on Polytrack at Turfway Park, she was fourth by 12 lengths to Summer Soiree in her first start for Terranova after previously having been based in Northern California.

“I don’t think she went into the Bourbonette as mentally sharp as this,” said Terranova, confirming that the Oaks is next. “She really needed that last race. She ran into a really nice filly [Summer Soiree.”

Wyomia, the 4-1 third choice, ran particularly well in defeat, especially considering that her jockey Freddie Lenclud, lost his inside iron down the stretch.

The major disappointment in the race was Dancinginherdreams, the 2-1 second choice, who had no mishap when finishing last.

For Castellano and Terranova, the victory continued a terrific start to the 15-day spring meet. Castellano won two other races Saturday, giving him four wins during the first two days, while the Ashland marked the third win of the meet for the New York-based Terranova, who has a large complement of horses for the first time here.

The $2 exacta (2-3) paid $622 and the $2 trifecta (2-3-6) paid $2,475.80.

The afternoon started amid a downpour before the weather broke, when a huge ontrack crowd was able to enjoy mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures.