Heart Ashley Holds On To Win Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness Stakes

BALTIMORE, MD  05-15-09---Zayat Stables LLC’s Heart Ashley set a rapid early pace and narrowly held on to take the 24th running of the $100,000 Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness Stakes (Grade 3) this afternoon at Pimlico.

Garrett Gomez rode the daughter of Lion Heart for trainer Steve Asmussen in the six-furlong Grade 3 stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Heart Ashley raced to the lead and extended her advantage under a hand ride but came under extreme pressure at the finish as Cinderella’s Wish closed belatedly to just miss by a head. Heart Ashley completed the six-furlong distance in 1:10.79 and won by a head. Trophy Collector finished third, another 4 ½ lengths behind the top pair.

The winner paid $3.80. She has started six times, with four victories and two seconds. She captured the Grade 3 Cicada at Aqueduct in her previous start. This was Gomez’ first time aboard Heart Ashley.

Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness Stakes Quotes

Steve Asmussen, winning trainer, Heart Ashley – “I think she’s got a tremendous amount of talent. (Assistant trainer) Toby Sheets has had her at Belmont and has done a great job with her, but the weather has not been cooperating with us lately. The idea off the Cicada, was to freshen her up, but it wasn’t to miss a few works. I think she just won on talent today.”

Garrett Gomez, winning jockey, Heart Ashley – “They were making her work early. What I wanted to do was just squeeze her leaving there so she could make the lead fine, and she did. After I made the lead, they came over on her and put pressure on her all the way up the backside. She never got a breather until the middle of the turn. In the last sixteenth of a mile, she was looking for a place to slow down. She ran a very good race, especially for going that fast.

Mark Shuman, trainer, Cinderella’s Wish, 2nd – “She is a really nice filly. She gives you everything she’s got every time she runs. She’s a little rough to deal with in the paddock, but she won her first two starts, and I’d love to have a rematch with this filly who beat her today.

Jeremy Rose, jockey, Cinderella’s Wish, 2nd – “I wish I had another 50 yards. I was really close. When I asked her to run, she gave me all she had.”

Rodney Jenkins, trainer, Trophy Collector, 3rd – “She ran a great race. I don’t have any complaints, especially the way she came home.”

Clinton Potts, jockey, Trophy Collector, 3rd – “They ran too fast early, but she got into the race late. In the stretch she found another gear. All in all she ran pretty well.