Bakers Dozen Set for Raven Run

Friday, October 21, 2011

Saturday's Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland is the lone graded stakes in North America Saturday and a well-matched field of 13 sophomores fillies will square off over seven furlongs on Polytrack in the $250,000 race.

 

Roman Treasure, Hot Summer, Strike the Moon, Groupie Doll, Mizdirection, Funny Sunny, Great Hot and Honey Chile are all potentially dangerous.

 

Roman Treasure, who finished third to leading Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint contender Turbulent Descent in the Grade 1 Test Stakes three back, exits an eight-length romp in the September 23 Positive Gal at Belmont Park. The Michael Hushion-trained filly recorded a half-mile bullet workout (:47 1/5) at Keeneland last Saturday in advance of her synthetic debut and will pick up the services of Keeneland's leading rider, Julien Leparoux.

 

Hot Summer defeated Roman Treasure when winning the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Saratoga on August 27 and the David Fawkes pupil will enter the Raven Run off a fourth in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks on September 17. The Virginia-bred lass also captured the Grade 3 Comely Stakes earlier this season. Cornelio Velasquez rides.

 

Strike the Moon recorded three consecutive runner-up finishes, including a head setback in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks, before notching her first stakes tally in the Charles Town Oaks. She will make her first appearance on a synthetic surface Saturday for trainer Michael Trombetta. Regular rider Julian Pimenthal has the mount.

 

Groupie Doll capped a three-race win streak with score in the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes, her stakes bow, on August 13, and the Buff Bradley charge recorded a fast-finishing second, beaten less than a length, in the Charles Town Oaks most recently. She will keep Greta Kuntzeiler in the saddle.

 

Mizdirection invades from California for conditioner Mike Puype off her win in the grassy Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar. Runner-up in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap two back, the gray filly will retain the services of Garrett Gomez.

 

Funny Sunny will be looking for her first stakes victory, but the Bob Hess-trained filly posted a head second in the grassy Lucy Scribner at Saratoga two starts back and was bet down as the 3-1 second choice in the Victory Ride, eventually finishing fifth following a wide trip in her graded stakes bow. She's eligible to show more here with Kent Desormeaux in the saddle.

 

Great Hot captured the Torrey Pines Stakes on Del Mar's Polytrack two back and exits a commendable third in the Grade 1 Lady's Secret Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by A.C. Avila, the dark bay was in with a serious chance in midstretch last time before coming up only two lengths short on the wire and Chantal Sutherland will be in to keep the mount on the promising filly.

 

Honey Chile is still looking for her first stakes win, but the Wayne Catalano trainee has placed in her last five starts, all against black-type rivals, and turned in an encouraging effort over Keeneland's Polytrack when second to Turbulent Descent in the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes last April. She will receive a positive jockey change to Robby Albarado.

 

Ms. Cruisen', Button Girl, Dr. Diamonds Prize, Long Lake Krista and Grandacious complete the field.