Ashado (KY)

A force as a juvenile and a champion at ages 3 and 4, Ashado was a model of consistent excellence on the racetrack. 

Painting of Ashado by Robert Clark
Inducted

2014

Foaled

2001

Sire

Saint Ballado

Dam

Goulash

Damsire

Mari's Book

Breeder

Aaron Jones
Marie Jones

Owner

Starlight Racing
Paul Saylor
Johns Martin

Trainer

Todd Pletcher

Career

2003-2005

Earnings

$3,931,440

Racing Record

21

Starts

Year Starts First Second Third Earnings
Year Sts 1 2 3 $
2003 6 4 1 1 $610800 $610,800
2004 8 5 2 1 $2259640 $2,259,640
2005 7 3 1 1 $1061000 $1,061,000

Biography

A force as a juvenile and a champion at ages 3 and 4, Ashado was a model of consistent excellence on the racetrack.

Bred in Kentucky by Aaron Jones and Marie Jones, Ashado (Saint Ballado—Goulash, by Mari’s Book) made her debut for Starlight Racing in partnership with Paul Saylor and Johns Martin in June 2003 at Belmont Park. With Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the irons, Ashado broke her maiden with a stylish seven-length victory.

Following her debut score, trainer Todd Pletcher brought Ashado to Saratoga Race Course to take aim at a couple of the Spa’s prestigious events for 2-year-old fillies, the Grade 2 Schuylerville Stakes and the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes. With Hall of Famer Edgar Prado aboard both times, Ashado drew off from her overmatched foes in each race to run her record to 3-for-3.

Ashado then finished third in the Frizette Stakes at Belmont and second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita before closing out her 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct under Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey. 

At 3, Ashado began the first of her two championship seasons with a victory in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in March 2004. However, she had to settle for second in her next race behind undefeated Madcap Escapade in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland.

The Kentucky Oaks was payback time for Ashado. Madcap Escapade ran off to a five-length lead on the backstretch, running the first half mile in :46, the fastest opening four furlongs in the race’s history. Velazquez, who had regained the mount on Ashado, remained patient. Ashado steadily made up ground and reeled in the fading Madcap Escapade in the stretch. Ashado won by 1¼ lengths over Island Sands, while Madcap Escapade finished third in her first career defeat.

“My filly was running so easy, I thought I could get to Madcap Escapade when I wanted,” Velazquez said.

“I was confident — and I was even confident when Madcap Escapade went out to the lead she had,” said Jack Wolf, one of the principal owners of Starlight Racing. “It set up almost perfect and Johnny gave her a big ride. … Actually, Todd had talked about the possibility of running in the Derby that year and we were sort of a coin toss away from doing it. I think we made the right decision. She was in a position where we were confident she would run a good race.”

Ashado added a Grade 1 victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont that summer and also prevailed in the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park in October before heading off to the Breeders’ Cup at Lone Star Park in Texas.

In the first Grade 1 race ever contested at Lone Star, Ashado split foes at the top of the stretch to win by 1¼ lengths and set the track record of 1:48.26 for the 1⅛-mile distance in the process. It was the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Pletcher.

“That was a special one,” Pletcher said.

The Breeders’ Cup victory locked up the Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3-Year-Old Filly for Ashado, who concluded her 2004 campaign with a record of 5-2-1 from eight starts and earnings of $2,259,640.

At 4, Ashado registered Grade 1 victories in the Ogden Phipps and Go for Wand handicaps and the Beldame Stakes, the latter being the final of her seven career Grade 1 wins. Her effort in the Go for Wand at Saratoga was a tour de force, as she decimated the field en route to a 9½-length triumph. Ashado concluded her campaign and her career by finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Belmont.

Ashado’s trio of Grade 1 wins in 2005 cemented her status as the best in her division as she secured the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Older Female. It was the first time in 20 years that a distaffer who won an Eclipse Award at 3 came back the following year to be named the older female champion. Only Susan’s Girl (1972, 1973), Desert Vixen (1973,1974) and Life’s Magic (1984,1985) had previously accomplished the feat.

Ashado was retired with a record of 12-4-3 and earnings of $3,931,440 from 21 starts.

Following her racing career, Ashado was sold at Keeneland as a broodmare prospect for a world-record $9 million to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Achievements

Eclipse Award Champion 3-Year-Old Filly — 2004
Eclipse Award Champion Older Mare — 2005

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the Distaff — 2004

Media

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