January 23, 2022

Averly Jane heads filly-dominated Kentucky Juvenile

Averly Jane (Coady Photography)

Kentucky Juvenile — Race 9 (4:52 p.m. ET)

Among the handful or so stakes scheduled during the early part of Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs, Wednesday’s $150,000 Kentucky Juvenile has the potential to yield a future star.

From an entries standpoint, the open five-furlong dash is dominated by fillies. Six of the eight that will line up are fillies, including 8-5 morning line favorite Averly Jane. The Wesley Ward-trained daughter of Midshipman won on debut by 8 3/4 lengths at Keeneland two weeks ago and is an obvious threat right back. Ten of the past 26 winners of the Kentucky Juvenile, which bodes well for Averly Jane and the various others lining up.

Kaufymaker was another dominating Keeneland debut winner for Ward, who triumphed on the same card April 15 card as Averly Jane, but by a slightly reduced margin of 6 1/4 lengths and in a time that was four-fifths of a second slower for 4 1/2 furlongs.

Shesgotattitude, a first-out Keeneland winner on April 8 for John Ennis, has the distinction of having as her third dam Gold Mover, who won the Kentucky Juvenile in 2000. Another strongly-bred Ennis entry is Bohemian Frost, who won her debut easily on Keeneland’s opening day and is out of a half-sister to Belmont S. (G1) winner Tapwrit.

The two colts in the field are longer prices on the morning line. Vodka N Water, who missed by a head in his debut in Lexington, finished more than two lengths ahead of next-out graduate Baytown Frosty in that April 7 debut. Vodka N Water is trained by Steve Asmussen, who’s won the Kentucky Juvenile six times.