Who was the most impressive undercard winner from Kentucky Derby weekend?

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May 4th, 2021

The 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) was a thrill, as Medina Spirit dug in to hold off Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality, all bearing down to his outside.

In the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Malathaat kept her undefeated record intact when she denied Search Results after a protracted battle.

But the two marquee three-year-old races were not all there was last week at Churchill Downs!

Now it's up to you. Let's revisit the sparkling performances from Kentucky Derby week, and let us know — in the stakes that led up to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, who was the most impressive winner?

Averly Jane

A rainy, sloppy day is never easy — especially if you're a lightly raced two-year-old, and especially if someone else blasts off to the lead ahead of you.

That's what happened to Averly Jane in the Kentucky Juvenile, as Bohemian Frost showed the same blistering early speed she had in her maiden win at Keeneland. For most of the stretch drive, Bohemian Frost kept finding and Averly Jane kept chasing.

About a sixteenth out, the complexion changed. Averly Jane pulled alongside Bohemian Frost, then blew by to win by 3 1/4 lengths.


Horses rarely see out the trip when they pull to a yawning lead into the first turn, defy their jockey's tight hold, and continue to scamper even farther away from a field of good horses down the backstretch.

That's how Blowout set the pace in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2).

Unsurprisingly, what was an eight-length lead into the far turn evaporated into the lane. But when New York Girl, Zofelle, and Abscond looked primed to swallow her up in the stretch, Blowout had more when jockey Flavien Prat asked her, and she crossed the wire a half-length in front.

Gift List

In her first start in the United States, Gift List tracked and stayed on to place in the Appalachian S. (G2) at Keeneland.

The setup looked to be about the same in the Edgewood S. (G2). She raced behind a leader setting a comfortable pace, but that leader was the even classier Aunt Pearl.

On the turn for home, Gift List turned it on. Jockey Javier Castellano switched her out, shook her up, and rocketed past Aunt Pearl like she was standing still.

She looked better than ever in her second stateside start and has emerged as a serious threat in the sophomore filly turf division.

Jackie's Warrior

The fractions posted in the Pat Day Mile (G2) were downright nuclear.

With Dreamer's Disease, Dream Shake, and Noble Reflection all on his tail early, it looked like a prime setup for Jackie's Warrior to get caught by the closers.

Defunded came rolling outside around the far turn, but flattened out past the quarter pole. Whiskey Double and Sittin On Go ran on late but couldn't get close.

Dream Shake provided the closest competition and dogged Jackie's Warrior the entire length of the stretch. Jackie's Warrior refused to let him pass.

For a horse whose four wins at age two all came well clear, it taught us Jackie's Warrior has guts.


Fourth behind Travel Column in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), Obligatory returned to one turn for the Eight Belles (G2).

She raced cozily at the rear, and even into the lane, she was second to last. Approaching midstretch, she was passing a few, but Dayoutoftheoffice looked clear. Just past the furlong mark, Obligatory found a dazzling gear. Near the sixteenth, Dayoutoftheoffice had reason to worry. At the wire, Obligatory was ahead by a length.

Who was the best undercard stakes winner during Kentucky Derby 147 weekend?

Looking back at last week's poll, we asked you the best Derby winner since 2000, among those who did not win the Triple Crown.

We had a dead heat, between a pair of true multi-surface threats. Both Animal Kingdom and Barbaro got 32% of the vote. Smarty Jones still has a posse, with 23% of the vote.