Speech (Mr Speaker) became her young sire’s first Grade I winner and earned enough points to land her a spot in the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks with a decisive score in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Saturday afternoon. Speedy GII Las Virgenes S. romper Venetian Harbor (Munnings) shot out to the early lead, loping through an opening quarter in :24.04 with Speech stalking from second off the fence. Envoutante (Uncle Mo) slipped up the fence inside of Speech as the half went up in :47.14, but backed out of it on the backstretch as Speech ranged up threateningly on the pacesetter’s outside. Speech overtook Venetian Harbor in early stretch and punched clear to win by three lengths. Venetian Harbor held second over Envoutante.
“I was very happy,” said winning trainer Mike McCarthy. “Obviously we had our mind set on running in the [GIII] Beaumont S. for the last five weeks or so and the last minute, we kind of called an audible and sometimes these things work out. To come back today and think we would set a track record in a race we weren’t especially pointing to says something about Speech. She trained well, she shows up every time. I call her the ultimate overachiever.”
Graduating at second asking at Los Alamitos in December, Speech was second to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Auberge (Palace) in a Feb. 1 optional claimer at Santa Anita and completed the exacta behind Donna Veloce (Uncle Mo) in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. Mar. 8 in Arcadia. Coming up a neck short of dominant GI Acorn S. victress and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Gamine (Into Mischief) in an Oaklawn optional claimer May 2, the bay filled the place spot again in the GII Santa Anita Oaks last time June 6.
Speech is the first black-type winner for her young sire Mr Speaker. Breeder Gail Rice purchased the winner’s dam Scribbling Sarah, who was conditioned by her former sister-in-law Linda Rice, for $7,500 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton February Sale. The 10-year-old mare has since produced an unnamed juvenile colt by Upstart and a 2019 colt by Unified. She was bred back to Midnight Lute, but has no reported foal for 2020.
CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND S.-GI, $392,000, Keeneland, 7-11, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:41.26, ft.
1–SPEECH, 121, f, 3, by Mr Speaker
1st Dam: Scribbling Sarah, by Freud
2nd Dam: Plinking, by Talkin Man
3rd Dam: Holy Wish, by Lord At War (Arg)
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($65,000 Ylg ’18 OBSWIN; $95,000 RNA Ylg ’18 FTKJUL; $190,000 2yo ’19 OBSMAR). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Madaket Stables LLC; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Michael W McCarthy; J-Javier Castellano. $240,000. Lifetime Record: 7-2-4-1, $353,840. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A.
2–Venetian Harbor, 121, f, 3, by Munnings
1st Dam: Sounds of the City, by Street Cry (Ire)
2nd Dam: Welcome Home, by Dixieland Band
3rd Dam: Safe Return, by Mr. Prospector
($110,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $205,000 RNA 2yo ’19 OBSAPR). O-Ciaglia Racing LLC, Highland Yard LLC, River Oak Farm & Dominic Savides; B-Colts Neck Stables LLC (KY); T-Richard Baltas. $80,000.
3–Envoutante, 121, f, 3, by Uncle Mo
1st Dam: Enchante, by Bluegrass Cat
2nd Dam: Wear, by Arch
3rd Dam: Abrade, by Mr. Prospector
($250,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Walking L Thoroughbreds LLC & Three Chimneys Farm; B-Jumping Jack Racing LLC (KY); T-Kenneth G McPeek. $40,000.
Margins: 3, 3 3/4, 2. Odds: 4.00, 0.60, 5.50.
Also Ran: Bonny South, Alta’s Award. Scratched: Tonalist’s Shape. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.