$200,000 Raven Run Stakes – Seven Furlongs on the dirt.
Forget – Ridden by Robby Albarado and trained by Victoria Oliver. Two
starts back she easily broke her maiden, and they immediately threw her into
the Grade 2 Eight Belles stakes at Churchill. She ran 3rd beaten by
four lengths in a respectable performance. She was no match for Four Graces in
that race though, and I expect this to be the same. There is a lot of speed in
here and she will be coming from off the pace so there is potential to finish 3rd
again, but that is the ceiling here.
Graces – Ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Ian Wilkes. This filly
has 4 wins in 6 starts, but last time out was beaten by 2 in the Eight Belles
at Churchill. She likes to run right to the front, but she was challenged the
whole race last time, and gave in. A similar set-up could happen here as there
is quite a lot of speed in this race. She certainly shouldn’t be dismissed, but
I would rather look for a horse coming off the pace in this race.
Market – Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and trained by Chad Brown. This is an
intriguing horse at a good price. In September of 2019 she looked very
impressive breaking her maiden, but then she had a 330 day lay-off. She won in
her first start back off of that lay-off, and then ran in the Grade 2 Prioress.
She finished 4th in the Prioress, but had a bit of a rough trip. She
shows ability to be able to sit off the pace, and make one run which will be
dangerous in this race. She is one to keep an eye on.
Direct to Raven Run Stakes
#4 Finite –
Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr and trained by Steve Asmussen. Finite is a very
impressive filly. Over the winter she beat British Idiom and Preakness Stakes
winner Swiss Skydiver. If she runs back to that race against this field then
she is a winner. With that being said, all of her best races have been going a
mile or longer. Last time out she finished 11th of 11, but that was
off a 6 month lay-off so there is a built in excuse there. The lay-off was
caused by ankle surgery, and the first race after was really bad so I am taking
a wait-and-see approach.
Harbor – Ridden by Manuel Franco and trained by Richie Baltas. This will be
the favorite at post time, and deservedly so. Venetian Harbor has lost to the
top fillies in the world such as Gamine, Speech, and Swiss Skydiver. She has
pretty much beaten every other filly other than those 3. This is another horse
will be prompted to go right to the front, and could set up a major speed duel
with the #2 Four Graces. She’s a very logical contender and should be
absolutely considered. In 6 career starts she hasn’t finished worse than 2nd
Edge – Ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Cherie Devaux. She has been
very impressive so far in her short 5 race career. Hasn’t finished worse than 3rd
yet, and has back to back 2nd place finishes in graded stakes races.
She just can’t seem to beat Franks Rockette, but the good news here is Franks
Rockette is not in this race. Florent Geroux should have this filly sitting
just off the pace which will be ideal, and should make things interesting down
the stretch. She should be a factor in the final stages of this race.
Tonalist’s Shape – Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Saffie Joseph.
Had a very promising start in her career when winning 5 of the first 6 races
which included a pair of graded stakes. Since coming off the lay-off though she
has been decidedly less impressive. She went off the favorite both times, and
ran very poorly both times. She seems to be heading in the wrong direction, and
I am going to pass on this one, but should she get back to form she will be
dangerous at a big price.
Maiden – Ridden by Corey Lanerie and trained by Eoin Harty. She is a very
interesting longshot in this race. They had high hopes for her when they ran
her in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and she was just in over her head. They
gave her a 323 day lay-off, and she came back and won that race as a tune up
for this race. If she is able to break well and not be outsprinted early on
then she is going to have a very big chance at a big price, but the fear is
that she is out-sprinted early on and can’t make up the needed ground in time.
She might be one to take a longshot chance with.
#9 Grand Cru
Classe – Ridden by Martin Garcia and trained by William Mott. She certainly
hasn’t done anything wrong yet. She has 3 starts, and 3 wins. All of those
races are against much weaker competition, and this is obviously a large step
up in class. The cut back in distance will be a big help, as when she won going
1 1/16 mile she got very tired in the stretch, but held on to win. She will be
right near the front along with quite a few others, and she will be wide. It
will be interesting to see what kind of trip that Martin Garcia can work out.
Keeper – Ridden by Brian Hernandez and trained by Cliff Sise. Had a large
jump up in class last time out and didn’t disappoint. She ran 2nd in
the Grade 3 Torrey Pines at Del Mar. She is a lightly raced filly , and has
good enough zip to get good stalking position on these front runners. She is
intriguing. There are plenty of horses in this race who are all trying to get
the same type of trip. It really does feel like a price horse will make a jump
and get a big win. Could be this one.
Analysis: Despite Venetian Harbor being a big favorite this race is a
complete toss-up. There are plenty of speed horses, and plenty of horses who
will be stalking from just off the pace. The key will be which horses get the
trip from just off the leaders. There are about 5 or 6 horses that could all be
vying for that same trip. I am going to take a shot and try to beat the big
1: #6 Regan’s Edge
2: #5 Venetian Harbor
3: #10 Secret Keeper
4: #8 Fair Maiden
Direct to Raven Run Stakes