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LEXINGTON, KY – Hat Creek Racing’s Averly Jane, undefeated through 3 starts entering Sunday, got loose on the lead and dashed away in the stretch to win the $200,000 Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland.
The Indian Summer is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, awarding an automatic berth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar this November.
Averly Jane broke alertly from post 7 as the 4/5 favorite in the field of nine mixed-gender 2-year-olds and went straight to the front, where under Tyler Gaffalione she posted opening fractions of :21.64 and :44.50.
Straightening for home still well in hand while racing without blinkers for the first time, Averly Jane strode home powerfully to win the 5 1/2-furlong good turf sprint by 3 geared-down lengths in stakes-record time of 1:02.65.
“She’s got a tremendous amount of speed and she just keeps going,” Gaffalione said. “She’s one of the fastest (out of the gate) I’ve ever been on. She almost throws you in the back seat. She’s a lot of fun.”
The winner’s Wesley Ward stablemate saved ground early and rallied inside late to take second in a four-horse photo over Circle Back Jack, Detroit City, and Pure Panic, with a neck separating each competitor from the other.
Roman Poet, Big Boss Ben, Bonus Appreciation, and Diamond City completed the order of finish. Sonnyisnotsofunny scratched.
Averly Jane’s win was her first on turf after breaking her maiden over the local dirt (rated good) in April, followed by a sloppy edition of the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes at Churchill Downs 13 days later and an off-turf fast dirt edition of Saratoga’s Skidmore Stakes. The daughter of Midshipman, purchased for $35,000 last October, has now banked $313,140.
“It doesn’t really matter (whether she runs on dirt or turf),” said Gaffalione, aboard for the third straight start. “She’s just a quality filly.”
Averly Jane returned $3.80 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.20 to show. Kaufymaker brought back $3.40 to place and $2.80 to show. Circle Back Jack paid $7 to show.
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