Wavell Avenue

Wavell Avenue

The 4-year-old filly Wavell Avenue picked the biggest day of all to win her first stakes race of 2015. Storming down the stretch at Keeneland under jockey Joel Rosario in the $1 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, 10-1 Wavell Avenue passed favorite La Verdad to win by a widening 1 ¾ lengths.

Wavell Avenue, a dark bay or brown daughter of Harlington, had posted just three victories in optional claiming races in eight starts for trainer Chad Brown before the Breeders’ Cup, but she signaled her readiness for the Filly & Mare Sprint with a strong second-place finish by a half-length to La Verdad, after stumbling at the start, in the 6/12 furlong, Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park three weeks earlier.

In a full 14-horse field for the seven furlong Filly & Mare Sprint, Wavell Avenue was ninth at the half-mile pole and was still in a crowded pack of horses approaching the head of the stretch, when Rosario edged her to the center of the track and shifted her into high gear, setting her sights on La Verdad. Seeming to fly by her competitors, Wavell Avenue crossed the wire in 1:22.39 over a fast track.

We thought there would be a strong pace up front," said trainer Chad Brown, who got his first Breeders' Cup win on the dirt in six dirt starts. "[Rosario] has gotten along with this filly so well. He's really been instrumental in her development."

"We expected to be wrestling with La Verdad every inch to the wire," Dubb said. "La Verdad is a special horse, but it was our day today."

Wavell Avenue came out of the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky horses of racing age sale, selling for $70,000, and was part of a bloodstock dispersal of Eugene Melnyk.

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