05/01/2013 1:28PM

Churchill Downs: Edgewood lacks strong favorite, but offers multiple contenders

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Judy in Disguise will stretch out beyond seven furlongs for the first time in the Edgewood.

Not unlike several other Friday stakes – namely, the Kentucky Oaks, Eight Belles, Alysheba, and American Turf – the Edgewood Stakes has all the makings of a terrific betting race with a very competitive finish.

The $150,000 Edgewood has a lukewarm 3-1 choice among its field of 11 3-year-old turf fillies going 1 1/16 miles, with the Shug McGaughey-trained Tokyo Time filling that tenuous favorite’s role in a cast otherwise replete with inviting options.

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Tokyo Time (post 8, Javier Castellano) has run well since McGaughey equipped her with blinkers, knocking out her maiden condition before finishing second in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes, both over the Gulfstream Park turf.

Among her many viable challengers are Kitten’s Dumplings (post 3), a stretch-running filly representing the red-hot team of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker, and jockey Joel Rosario; Judy In Disguise (post 4, Mike Smith), stretching out after running third as the favorite in the recent Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland; Birdlover (post 5, Kevin Krigger), a very steady California shipper for Doug O’Neill; Private Ensign (post 6, Corey Lanerie), making her grass debut after failing to reach her initial goal of the Oaks; and Wave Theory (post 10, Julien Leparoux), a late-striding filly from the Chad Brown stable.

Private Ensign, by A.P. Indy, sparked major hopes for trainer Dale Romans in winning back-to-back dirt races this winter at Gulfstream, but subsequent disappointments in the Grade 2 Davona Dale and the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland put those dreams on temporary hold.

“She’s got the pedigree to do about anything,” said Romans. “No, we didn’t make the Oaks, but as far as we’re concerned she’s still a filly with a lot of potential. This would be a good spot for her to start showing that again.”

The Edgewood, named for a south Louisville neighborhood, dates to 1983. Carded as the seventh of 12 Friday races, it kicks off a 50-cent pick five wager that ends with the Kentucky Oaks. Post time is set for 2:08 p.m. Eastern.