Edgewood Stakes Picks: No reason not to like Aunt Pearl

Breeders' Cup winner Aunt Pearl makes her highly anticipated 3-year-old debut
Breeders' Cup winner Aunt Pearl makes her highly anticipated 3-year-old debut

The Grade II Edgewood Stakes is Race 7 on the card and the second race as part of the Derby City-6 on Oaks Day this Friday at Churchill Downs. Breeders' Cup winner Aunt Pearl is odds-on but what does our in-house handicapper think...?

He previews the race below along with his full slate of selections for the card under the Twin Spires. For picks from across the US this Friday then check out our Picks page (linked to below) which is updated overnight with a full slate of selections from the HorseRacing.net team...

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Unfortunately, after picking odds-on favorite Maxfield in the G2 Alysheba one race prior, I’m not going to get any bolder in the G2 Edgewood. Last year’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine Aunt Pearl (#6) makes her sophomore debut in this spot, and it’s extraordinarily difficult to pick against her based on what she accomplished as a 2-year-old. This undefeated filly got better and better with each start in 2020, which culminated with an easy, wire-to-wire score in the Juvenile Fillies Turf to close out the year. She earned a whopping 91 Beyer Speed Figure for her victory in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and if she returns in similar form I’m afraid there’s going to be no beating her. This doesn’t even acknowledge the fact that she could actually improve as a 3-year-old, as most horses often do, and her frontrunning gambit virtually assures a good trip, especially in a race with very little speed signed on. 

If you’re trying to beat Aunt Pearl, good luck. I suppose the filly with the best shot is Gift List (#2), whose North American unveiling was a promising one in the G2 Appalachian at Keeneland. She broke well that day and was rated behind a tepid pace set by talented turfer Jouster, and when the real running began in the stretch she finished well but was simply left with too much to do as the winner sprinted home. The trouble with Gift List is that circumstances don’t figure to be dramatically different this time around, and it’s not as if she’s going to be a big price herself. I think she’s a deserving second choice in the wagering but is still a ways off threatening Aunt Pearl.

The only other filly I would consider playing in this race is Queen of the Green (#3). While she appears too slow to make an impact, she had some legitimate trouble last out in the G3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, which was really a solid race overall. After wintering in the barn of Jon Arnett at Tampa, Queen of the Green has been transferred to Jason Barkley for what will presumably be a Kentucky-centric campaign going forward. Barkley isn’t exactly known for his prowess with turf runners, but this one has already exceeded expectations and ran very well in her debut at Keeneland last year, so I don’t think it’s a concern at all.


*You can bet on the Edgewood Stakes with any of our betting partners via the Race Card below...

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