04/09/2016 4:31PM

Weep No More springs 30-1 upset in Ashland Stakes

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Weep No More, ridden by Corey Lanerie, outfinishes Rachel's Valentina by a neck to win the Ashland for 3-year-old fillies.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With a quarter-mile to go in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, the stage was set: Three favorites were lined up neatly across the track, with a dramatic conclusion still to come.

Then what happened? Horse racing.

From the proverbial clouds, a 30-1 shot named Weep No More came rolling past the favored trio to post a stunning triumph over Rachel’s Valentina in the 79th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland,  earning a spot in the Kentucky Oaks.

“At the top of the lane, to be honest, I didn’t think I’d get up,” said Corey Lanerie, who rode Weep No More for the Ashbrook Farm of Glenn Bromagen and trainer Rusty Arnold. “But then about 70 yards before wire, I was like, ‘Come on baby, you can get it.’ ”

For most of the 1 1/16-mile Ashland, the obvious question was whether 1-2 favorite Cathryn Sophia would be able to overtake front-running Carina Mia and outfinish Rachel’s Valentina. After straightening into the stretch, Cathryn Sophia and Rachel’s Valentina began edging away from Carina Mia, but then the sweeping outside burst by Weep No More carried her a neck past Rachel’s Valentina while silencing the vast majority of the ontrack crowd.

Weep No More returned $62.20 to win after finishing in 1:43.57 over a fast track. Rachel’s Valentina, the 5-2 second choice, was another neck ahead of Cathryn Sophia. Carina Mia and Banree completed the order of finish.

“We’ve been pointing for this race for two months,” said Arnold. “With two turns, she’s just really come around.”

Weep No More, a chestnut Kentucky-bred filly by Mineshaft, was making her fourth career start. Based through the winter months at Payson Park in Florida with Arnold’s assistant, Jack Bohannan, she raced twice at Tampa Bay Downs, winning a Jan. 22 maiden race and the ungraded Suncoast Stakes three weeks later.

“Did we expect this?” said Arnold. “Not quite, but she’s a step ahead of us. Jack really did a great job with her at Payson,” where a quarantine situation was in effect for several weeks because of an infectious-disease scare.

Weep No More earned 100 qualifying points toward the Oaks and will move on as a challenger to heavily favored Songbird in the May 6 filly classic at Churchill Downs.

The Ashland victory was the second for Lanerie, following Hooh Why in 2009, and the second for Arnold (Karlovy Vary, 2012).

Barbara Banke, whose Stonestreet Stables bred and owned Rachel’s Valentina, said she was pleased with the filly’s first start in more than five months and that she would consult with trainer Todd Pletcher whether to proceed to the Oaks. Rachel’s Valentina, second to Songbird here last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, earned 40 qualifying points.

Cathryn Sophia, trained by John Servis, clearly was the disappointment of the race. She got a perfect stalking trip under Javier Castellano but was unable to clear off from the pack as she had in all four of her prior career starts.

Servis expressed reservations afterward whether to move on to the Oaks.

“Maybe two turns is a little too far for her,” he said. “We’ll see which way we’re going to go.”

Although the win mutuel for Weep No More was one of the biggest in race history, it is still far off the $136.80 for Bold Dun-Cee in 1967.

The $2 exacta (1-4) paid $205.60 and the $1 trifecta (1-4-3) returned $201.30.