FRANKLIN, KY – Ilium Stables’ Jezebel’s Kitten made it two-for-two with an eye-popping performance to crush the field in Saturday’s $500,000 Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs.
Breaking sharply from post 7 under Florent Geroux at 4/1 odds, Jezebel’s Kitten raced behind Weekend Fun and early leader Monedas de Oro as the field navigated the hilly firm turf course. Angled out in mid-stretch, Jezebel’s Kitten took command and drew off when asked to win by 4 3/4 easy lengths. The Brad Cox trainee completed the mile-long turf event in a final time of 1:40.06.
“I decided to take her back from off the pace, put her right behind (Weekend Fun), and I when I took her back, she just came completely dropped off the bit,” Geroux said. “And I went from head-to-head, to third. to losing many lengths. On the turn. I thought I was out of horse and maybe she was being intimidated. When I tipped her out, she just flew home, so I guess we learned something about her today. She doesn’t like to be in tight.”
Ask Bailey rallied from last to take second by a 1/2-length over Battleofwinterfell, who necked out Lemon Scat for third. Sunset Promise took fifth, while the 2/1 favorite Fly So Pretty was a neck and a nose ahead of a weakened Monedas de Oro and Well Spent, respectively. Lil Miss Hot Mess, Secretly Wicked, a spent Weekend Fun, and Twisted Emotions completed the order of finish. Envied, How Ironic, and Secret Stash were scratched.
Jezebel’s Kitten’s win was her second in as many starts, having broken her maiden on debut at Ellis Park on August 10. The juvenile daughter of Kitten’s Joy, purchased for $40,000 as a yearling, has now earned $322,980.
“It was kind of an odd race to watch,” said winning trainer Brad Cox. “She broke and put herself in position like she did first time out. I told Florent, if he could, to get her to settle behind a horse or two, if possible. He did, and he said she just kind of shut off around the turn and almost lost interest. He nudged on her and tried to keep her into it, keep her involved, and once he got her out, she just took off. She was impressive. Very nice race. For a 2-year-old filly to do what she did today, off her first race, it was a big step forward.”
Jezebel’s Kitten returned $10.40 to win, $5.20 to place, and $4.40 to show. Ask Bailey brought back $9.20 to place and $6.60 to show, while Battleofwinterfell paid $7.40 to show.