Ward duo looms large in Kentucky Juvenile S. on April 28

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 26th, 2021

A field of eight two-year-old prospects will dash five furlongs on the Churchill Downs dirt in Wednesday’s $150,000 Kentucky Juvenile S. Wesley Ward, who is among the top two-year-old conditioners in the world, has a pair of sharp first-out winners in the cast. I will base my plays around the imposing duo.

#4 Averly Jane (8-5), who earned a robust 97 Brisnet Speed figure on debut, is the one to beat in the speedy field. By Midshipman, the $35,000 yearling purchase strode home a convincing 8 3/4-length winner at Keeneland at first go and looked the part visually, as well. The Kentucky-bred bay was well backed at 3-2 odds in that contest and will be so once again on Wednesday. Tyler Gaffalione picks up the live mount.

The second miss from the Ward shedrow is #3 Kaufymaker (4-1), who graduated on the same day as the aforementioned filly. Jimmy Creed homebred was hammered to even-money odds in her first appearance and did not disappoint, powering home by 6 1/4 widening lengths at Keeneland. The chestnut is bred top and bottom to be a fast one, and all indications are that she is just that. Martin Pedroza inherits the ride.

A key value horse for me in the vertical exotics will be #6 Vodka N Water (12-1) who makes his first run since coming to the Asmussen barn. One of only two colts in the race, the son of Fed Biz put in a sustained run to just miss at Keeneland at first asking, and in a field with an abundance of pace signed on, the January foal should have a nice setup to the top of the lane. The gimmicks contender will have Ricardo Santana Jr. in the stirrups, and I expect him to be doing his best work inside the final furlong at an attractive number.

Kentucky Juvenile Wagers

  • $2 superfecta 3,4 with 3,4 with 6 with all ($20)
  • $1 superfecta 3,4 with 3,4 with all with 6 ($10)
  • $1 superfecta 3,4 with 6 with 3,4 with all ($10)