A competitive field of 10 line up in Saturday’s $200,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland, a race that could produce a contender or two for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in three weeks.
Venetian Harbor is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the seven furlong test for three-year-old fillies. The Richard Baltas trainee ran second to Gamine last out in the Test (G1) at Saratoga.
A strong performance and she could be headed to the Filly & Mare Sprint which will be held at Keeneland on Nov. 7.
“We are just trying to win a race; that’s the first thing,” Baltas. “If she runs well and bounces out of the race okay we will eye the Breeders’ Cup.”
She faces a field with plenty of early zip signed up including Eight Belles (G2) runner up Four Graces, who is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. The Ian Wilkes trainee will have Julien Leparoux in the irons.
Reagan’s Edge may be worth a good look if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line. She ran a good second to Frank’s Rockette at Saratoga in the Prioress (G2) in her last outing. Frank’s Rockette returned to win the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G3) in her next outing.
Florent Geroux has the call on Reagan’s Edge and will break from the six post.
Another live longshot is Secret Keeper, who ships in from the west coast for the Clifford Sise barn. The filly was second behind repeat winner Harvest Moon in the Torrey Pines (G3) in her last outing.
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Let’s head out to Keeneland for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Keeneland Race 9 The Raven Run (G2) 5:30 ET
6 Reagan’s Edge 8-1
5 Venetian Harbor 7-5
10 Secret Keeper 12-1
2 Four Graces 5-2
The filly prompted the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish last out in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga going six furlongs. She ran into a sharp filly in Frank’s Rockette who came back to win the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) in her next outing on Oct. 3 at Belmont Park. Our top pick made her stakes debut two back in the Victory Ride (G3) where she was beaten by Frank’s Rockette by just a head. She owns a solid pace profile throughout in a race with plenty of early zip signed up. The DeVaux trainee appears to have the right running style and looks as if the extra ground here will suit her.
This gal ran into Gamine last out who rolled to a seven-length win in the Test (G1), taking the field gate to wire and taking advantage of a racing strip that was playing to inside speed. The Baltas trainee was 6 ½ lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. She was cutting back from a couple of runner up finishes going 1 1/16 miles in the Ashland (G1) two back at Keeneland and the Fantasy (G3) three back at Oaklawn Park (behind Swiss Skydiver). She has earned solid numbers over his last six outings that include a win in the Las Virgines (G2) at a mile and her maiden win which came at 6 ½ furlongs. The trainer is using this race as a possible prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in three weeks.
The Sise trainee is cutting back from a runner up finish in the Torrey Pines (G3) at Del Mar going a two-turn mile in her stakes debut. She dueled for the early led and battled on gamely in the stretch to come up 1 ¼ lengths short. The winner Harvest Moon came back to win the Zenyatta (G2) in her next start at Santa Anita on Sept. 27. She looks as if she has as much upside as any in this field and is quick enough to handle the cut back to seven furlongs.
WIN: Reagan’s Edge to win at 9-2 or better.
EXACTA: 5,6 / 2,5,6,10 and 6 / 2,4,5,10