(Averly Jane wins the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes at Churchill Downs on Wednesday / Coady Photography)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
Hat Creek Racing’s Averly Jane roared past pacesetting Bohemian Frost at the sixteenth pole en route to a 3 ¼-length victory in the 27th running of the $150,000 Kentucky Juvenile for 2-year-olds on Wednesday afternoon.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Averly Jane covered the five furlongs in :58.64 over a sloppy main track.
The victory is the third in the race for Ward, who also won with fillies Silvertoni in 2016 and Aegean in 2009.
Bohemian Frost shot to the front out of the gate with Averly Jane tracking in second. Gaffalione sent AverlyJane after the leader at the head of the stretch and then drew clear at the sixteenth pole.
The victory was worth $91,140 and increased Averly Jane’s earnings to $127,140 with two wins in two starts. She is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Midshipman out of the Richter Scale mare Sh Sh Shakin.
Sent off as the heavy favorite off a maiden victory at Keeneland, Averly Jane returned $3, $2.40 and $2.20.Vodka N Water rallied for second under Ricardo Santana Jr. and paid $3.60 and $2.80 with Bohemian Frost paying $2.80 to show under Gerardo Corrales.
Racing continues with an 11-race Thurby program that begins at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and features two stakes, the Unbridled Sidney and the Opening Verse.
KENTUCKY JUVENILE QUOTES
Tyler Gaffalione (Jockey, Averly Jane, winner) – “I spoke to (trainer) Wesley (Ward). She’s a naturally fast filly, most of his horses are. She jumped out well, but she just got out-sprinted for the lead. We didn’t want to get into a speed duel. I was able to get to the outside. When my filly hit the lane, she gave me everything she had.”
Blake Heap (Assistant to Wesley Ward trainer, Averly Jane, winner) – “Nothing to it; she was training good, she was doing good and she ran good. Didn’t tell the jock a thing; he saw the videos and he knew what to do.:
Ricardo Santana Jr. (Jockey, Vodka N Water, runner-up) – “We had a little bit of a tricky trip, got shuffled a bit, but he came running hard at the end. The track has been pretty speedy but for a 2-year-old to make up group like that, it’s a very good sign.”