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Indian Summer Preview: Ward’s Fillies Fit For A Fight
Kaufymaker (Credit: Keeneland Photo)

Indian Summer Preview: Ward’s Fillies Fit For A Fight

LEXINGTON, KY – Trainer Wesley Ward’s fillies Kaufymaker and Averly Jane seem fit for a fight against their male counterparts as they both drop their blinkers for Sunday’s $200,000 Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland.

The Indian Summer is a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint restricted to 2-year-olds that serves as the eighth event on a 10-race card with a local post time of 4:44 PM. The race is also 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.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Indian Summer:

1. Sonnyisnotsofunny 5/1 – He broke his maiden on debut in a late July 5-furlong Ellis Park dirt sprint that he took by 8 3/4 widening lengths as part of a field of six which included a pair of next-out winners. He earned a 78 Beyer Speed Figure that places him near the top of this group, but his older siblings are 0 for 12 on turf and his freshman sire American Freedom hasn’t produced a turf winner yet.

2. Kaufymaker 7/2 – Ward removes the blinkers that she wore in her first 3 starts (a 23% winning move) as she makes her second start on the turf after finishing third in the 6 1/2-furlong Juvenile Sprint Stakes at Kentucky Downs. She should appreciate cutting back in distance and her last 2 starts (including the Coventry Stakes [G2] at Royal Ascot) came against males, so she won’t be intimidated.

3. Detroit City 30/1 – After failing to finish on the board in a pair of dirt sprints, he successfully broke through last time out in a 5 1/2-furlong dash over the Ellis Park turf. Jockey Adam Beschizza retains the mount for the second straight start after piloting this colt gate to wire, but his maiden-breaking race hasn’t come back very strong and the 49 Beyer he received is the field’s worst “best” on grass.

4. Pure Panic 15/1 – He broke his maiden on debut in a 5 1/2-furlong Ellis Park turf sprint, defeating the rival drawn directly to his outside in the process. Sonnyisnotfunny’s stablemate in the Mike Maker barn was second in the off-turf 5 1/2-furlong Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga and last of nine in the 1-mile Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth Park. He should at least be sharper cutting back here.

5. Big Boss Ben 30/1 – He broke his maiden at third asking in a 5 1/2-furlong Ellis Park turf sprint 1 start after finishing second to Pure Panic. He wasn’t nearly as successful last time out, however, suffering his lone off-the-board finish when sixth as the 3/2 favorite in the 5 1/2-furlong Rosie’s Stakes at Colonial Downs. The good news is that the top four horses from the Rosie’s ran well in their next starts.

6. Bonus Appreciation 12/1 – He adds blinkers for his fifth career start, a 14% winning move with just a $0.99 ROI for trainer Steve Asmussen, as he seeks his second victory and first since defeating off-turf maidens going 5 furlongs at Monmouth Park. He closed willingly for fourth behind Kaufymaker and two others in the Juvenile Sprint, so perhaps the blinkers will engage him early.

7. Averly Jane 4/5 – Ward tries for the second time to put this filly on turf after she dominated the rained-off Skidmore by 7 1/4 lengths in hand. Ward wins 31% of the time when his experienced 2-year-olds make their first starts on turf, her older half-brother won twice on turf including the 2018 Skidmore, and the 86 Beyer she earned for winning the Skidmore is the field’s best overall figure.

8. Roman Poet 50/1 – He broke his maiden on debut by 2 1/4 lengths despite steadying in a 5-furlong Gulfstream Park turf sprint. Privately purchased and sent to a new barn, he was disqualified to last of eight for interference in the Tyro Stakes, then finished fifth in a sloppy 6-furlong optional claiming event at Gulfstream Park. New trainer Tom Amoss wins 19% when debuting experienced runners.

9. Circle Back Jack 50/1 – He scratched out of a local dirt maiden special weight Saturday to stay on turf for the third straight start and face winners. He was a distant third behind winning Big Boss Ben, then finished second by 1 length in a 6 1/2-furlong Kentucky Downs sprint. Sire Tonalist produces just 9% turf winners and trainer Sarah Hamilton has just 16 total starters (through Friday).

10. Diamond City 4/1 – He invades from Woodbine having finished third in his first 2 starts, a 6-furlong turf sprint and a 7-furlong off-turf synthetic dash, before winning the 5-furlong Ontario Racing Stakes last time out by 1 3/4 lengths. The winner of his debut won a stakes next out and his lone sibling to race was second in April’s 1 1/16-mile Edgewood Stakes (G2) on the Churchill Downs lawn.

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