05/05/2017 12:10AM

Buy Sell Hold takes Kentucky Juvenile

Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Buy Sell Hold (outside) wins a three-way photo finish to capture Thursday's Kentucky Juvenile Stakes.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Her first time out, Buy Sell Hold was fast-starting. This time, she was strong-finishing. Between horses in a three-way photo, she won the $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile by a neck on Thursday at Churchill Downs.

Buy Sell Hold ($5) is now undefeated in her brief career, as she broke like a rocket and extended her advantage from there to win her debut last month at Keeneland. To post the victory this time, she and jockey Florent Geroux wore down game pacesetter McErin, then held off Amberspatriot.

Trainer Steve Asmussen was smiling as he discussed his latest stable star, whom he has deep personal ties to. 

"She's a very special filly to me," Asmussen said. "Her second dam is Lady Tak, who was one of my favorite horses of all time – my first millionaire. And she reminds me a lot of her. She's just a racehorse. Second time out, first time over here, she was all business, did everything perfectly. She's a horse that was started at my dad's place in Laredo, and I thought his schooling seemed to show up today."

On a track officially rated fast on a wet, gray day, Buy Sell Hold stopped the clock for the five furlongs in 58.33 seconds. Amberspatriot edged McErin, who had been sent away as the favorite, by a nose for second.

Baytown Lex, who delayed the start of the race by unseating jockey Carson Sullivan behind the gate, clipped heels and fell on the far turn before regaining his feet. He was apprehended by the outrider and jogged back, with only a small laceration on a knee to show for his trouble. Sullivan walked back to the jockeys' room without injury. Following the incident, which did not involve the top finishers, Trickizar was disqualified from fifth to eighth for interference.

One race earlier, Pleuven asserted his class by winning a scratch-depleted edition of the $65,000 Opening Verse overnight stakes on a turf course rated “good.”

Pleuven ($6.80), who had Corey Lanerie aboard for Phil Sims, won the Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes last year at Churchill Downs after finishing second in the Opening Verse. He earned this year's win by sitting in third early, then coming wide into the lane to pounce on pacesetter Take the Stand, edging clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths and finishing the mile in 1:36.15. Take the Stand held sway by three-quarters over defending winner Thatcher Street for second.