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2013 Lexus Raven Run Stakes; Lookin’ Like A Fantabulous Race

2013 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (GII); Lookin Like A Fantabulous Race

The 2013 Raven Run Stakes takes place this Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at Keeneland Race Course near Lexington, Kentucky and is run during the third week of October as part of the race course’s annual Fall Meet. The Grade II event is open to three-year-old fillies ready to run on the Polytrack at 7F and offers a purse of $250,000.

This race was inaugurated in 1999 and is named for the 374-acre nature sanctuary outside Lexington, Kentucky. There was also a three-year-old colt named Raven Run who, while vying for the lead at a Keeneland race, died on the track in 2000. The race record on polytrack is held by Informed Decision at 1:20.86 in 2008, and for conventional dirt the record is held by Darling My Darling at 1:20.88 in 2000. Most wins by a jockey are Pat Day at three, 1999, 2001and 2003. Most wins for a trainer are John T. Ward Jr. at two in 2002 and 2005. Due to the sponsorship by the Lexus division of the Toyota Motor Corporation beginning in 2005, the race is now referred to as the Lexus Raven Run Stakes.

The 2013 Lexus Raven Run Stakes is the 9th race of the day on a card of 10 with a post time of 5:23 pm EDT.

This is a loaded and overflowing field of fillies. Fourteen are ready to start with two also eligible waiting for a scratch. There are three headliners that stick out here with Silsita, Lighthouse Bay and Ciao Bella Luna. My favorite here is Silsita. Of all of the Todd Pletcher fillies this year, she’s had the roughest go of it and was overshadowed by Princess of Sylmar. She’s kind of the forgotten Pletcher filly this summer. Silsita is out of one of my favorite bloodlines Macho Uno/Holy Bull so I hope she can gather herself together and put some pepper in her stepper Saturday. I’m also throwing in a couple of longshots.

Silsita Horse

Todd Pletcher’s Silsita comes in with 7/2 odds for the Lexus Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

The 3-year-old daughter of Macho Uno, Silsita, trained by Todd Pletcher, earned her first graded-stakes win of her career at Turfway Park on March 23 in the Bourbonette Oaks (G3). After that she faltered in a few races and bounced back with a second place finish on June 13th at Belmont Park in the Astronmia Stakes. Next out, she nailed a win on July 20th in the My Princess Jess Stakes (GII) at Saratoga on July 20th. In her last outing she finished sixth in the Lake Placid Stakes (GII) at Saratoga on August 18th. She has posted two workouts at Keeneland since arriving, the most recent on October 13, breezing 4F in 50:00 (36/41). Silsita gets the prowess of Mike Smith up and leaves from door #4.

The 3-year-old daughter of Tribal Rule, Ciao Bella Luna, is looking to improve off a fourth-place finish in her most recent outing after incurring traffic difficulty early and couldn’t rebound in the Hollywood Oaks (GII) at Hollywood Park on June 22nd. On May 19th she was second in the Railbird Stakes over the same track and prior she captured her first graded-stakes title on April 14th at Keeneland in the Beaumont Stakes (GII) romping by 2 ½ lengths when trained by Jerry Holendorfer and will be seeking her first victory Saturday for her new trainer Wayne Catalano. Ciao Bella Luna will attempt to become the second filly to win the Beaumont and the Lexus Raven Run which was done so by Gypsy Robin last year. She recently worked at Keeneland on Oct. 7th breezing five furlongs in 59.00. She has R. Santana in the irons and bolts from post #9.

One of my longshot picks is the daughter of Flatter, Primed For Passion who is trained by Jonathan Sheppard and hails from Presque Isle Downs where she recently was second in the H.B.P.A. Stakes on September 26th. Prior she has four wins on that track in her maiden and three allowance races from May to September. She recently breezed 5F in 58.40 1/19 at Keeneland on October 13th. Primed For Passion will break from post #12 with G. Pino in the saddle.

The other some-what long-shot I like is the #2 gate breaker Into Mischief filly Sittin At The Bar who will be ridden by M. Guidry and is trained by Brett Brinkman. This Bayou baby hails from Louisiana and she holds a racing record of 13-8-2-1. She is coming off four straight wins with her last on September 21 at Louisiana Downs in the Elge Rasberry Stakes. Prior she has another Stakes win at that track and two prior at Evangeline. On May 3rd of this year she was sixth in the Eight Belles Stakes (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

This is going to be a great betting race with some quality fillies here and I had a hard time handicapping this one. There are a lot I like to hit the board but I hope Silsita can nail the win. Lighthouse Bay is going to be the tough one coming from Gulfstream and it will be interesting to see if she takes to the Poly. Ciao Bell Luna is also super good and with Wayne Catalano as her new trainer, we’ll see if she can follow in Gypsy Robin’s footsteps. From a wagering standpoint I hope my two longshots Primed For Passion and Sittin At The Bar hit the board running. Good luck girls and safe run!

Post Positions & Odds for the 2013 Lexus Ranvens Run Stakes
1. Plenty O’Toole 50/1 M Pedroza/C L Dickey SCRATCHED
2. Sittin At the Bar 8/1 M Guidry/A Brinkman
3. Turn by Turn 12/1 K J Desormeaux/A Clarkson
4. Silsita (FL) 7/2 M E Smith/T A Pletcher
5. Lighthouse Bay 4/1 J Rocco, Jr./G Weaver SCRATHCED
6. Thetaloveandmine 50/1 J Graham/T E Hamm
7. Jewel of a Cat 15/1 C P DeCarlo/B W Perkins, Jr.
8. Elusive Fate 30/1 B J Hernandez, Jr./G R Arnold, II
9. Ciao Bella Luna 4/1 R Santana, Jr./M Catalano
10. My Option 8/1 E Pere/M Block
11. Irish Lute 10/1 S Bridgmoha/D Stewart
12. Primed for Passion 10/1 G Pino/J E Sheppard
13. Finding More 15/1 R Flores/S Schu
14. Eden Prairie 30/1 R Albarado/N L Pessin
Also Eligibles:
15. Fully Living 12/1 C J Lanerie/G R Arnold, II
16. Madame Cactus 10/1 J Talamo/P Eurton
UPDATED RESULTS: 16, 14, 10, 9, 11, 15, 12, 8, 4, 2, 7, 3, 13, 6