Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/19/14
We are now just two weeks away from the 2013 Breeders Cup and as the excitement builds towards that, the sport of Horse Racing in the weeks leading up to it, does “thin out” a bit. This week we will be looking at the 2013 Lexus Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky. where a full field of 14, with two on the AEs, has been entered with Silsita installed as a tepid 7/2 morning line favorite. The Raven Run is a seven furlong sprint for three year old fillies and is only being run for the 14th time. Past winners include the good looking Darling My Darling, seven time Grade: 1 stakes winner and the powerhouse Sightseek, Champion Informed Decision, crack sprinter Hilda’s Passion and last year’s winner Gypsy Robin.   Keeneland – Saturday, October 19, 2013 Race 9 – 5:23 PM Lexus Raven Run Stakes (Grade: 2) Purse $250,000 For Fillies-Three Years Old Seven Furlongs (All Weather Track)   P# PP Horse A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1 Plenty O’Toole 3/F L M Pedroza 118 C L Dickey 50/1 2 2 Sittin At the Bar 3/F L M Guidry 120 B A Brinkman 8/1 3 3 Turn by Turn 3/F L K J Desormeaux 118 A Clarkson 12/1 4 4 Silsita 3/F L M E Smith 118 T A Pletcher 7/2 5 5 Lighthouse Bay 3/F L J Rocco, Jr. 122 G Weaver 4/1 6 6 Thetaloveandmine 3/F L J Graham 118 T E Hamm 50/1 7 7 Jewel of a Cat 3/F L C P DeCarlo 118 B W Perkins, Jr. 15/1 8 8 Elusive Fate 3/F L B J Hernandez, Jr. 118 G R Arnold, II 30/1 9 9 Ciao Bella Luna 3/F L R Santana, Jr. 120 W M Catalano 4/1 10 10 My Option 3/F L E E Perez 118 C M Block 8/1 11 11 Irish Lute 3/F L S Bridgmohan 118 D Stewart 10/1 12 12 Primed for Passion 3/F L M G Pino 118 J E Sheppard 10/1 13 13 Finding More 3/F L D R Flores 118 S S Schu 15/1 14 14 Eden Prairie 3/F L R Albarado 118 N L Pessin 30/1 15 15 Fully Living (AE) 3/F L C J Lanerie 118 G R Arnold, II 12/1 16 16 Madame Cactus (AE) 3/F L J Talamo 118 P Eurton 10/1   Analysis: 1) Lighthouse Bay- was beaten just three lengths in Test Stakes (one of the biggest and most prestigious sprint races’ for three year old fillies in the country) at this distance at Saratoga in her last (Aug 24) after being “fanned six wide” at the top of the stretch. Her two prior races show a nice come from behind win at Parx Park (Jostle Stakes- June 8) and even better come from behind win in a  the Grade: 1 race. (Prioress at Saratoga, July 27). This chestnut filly has worked twice (five furlongs) since the Test, owns a solid career record (8-4-1-1), has a solid sire (Speightstown), and a very solid trainer (George Weaver)….boy, that’s a lot solids. My only two concerns are 1) this will be the first time she runs on the synthetic surface and 2) with such a big field, traffic issues…other than those, she looks like the best horse in the race.   2) Sittin At the Bar- it’s kind of baffling to me how this filly by Into Mischief is 8-1 on the morning line. I mean, there are way more positives that negatives when it comes to her chances of winning or running well. First off, she is a winner of five of her last six and eight of 13 in her career. Albeit her last race (win) was a dead heat, she and the other horse had eight lengths on the rest of the field. But what really stands to me, both visually and on paper, was her Aug 17 race at Louisiana Downs (The Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint). In that race, she broke last of seven, circled the field to put herself into contention at the quarter pole and then obliterated the field down the stretch to win going away by almost five lengths. I don’t want to get too crazy with her because she is taking a decent size step up in company and, like the top choice; she’s never run on the synthetics so we don’t know how she’ll react….but regardless, she merits respect in any betting scenario.   3) Silsita- finished a fading, yet close up sixth vs. better on the grass at Saratoga in her last …that, after showing an incredible amount of heart and determination in her pervious race (another stakes win) also on the grass at Saratoga. On top of that, she is proven ( 1 for 1 record and  a strong :47 half mile work) on the synthetics, so I can see why she is the opening line favorite….but I’m going to try to beat her in this spot.   Honorable Mentions: (and there are several) Ciao Luna Bella is five for six over the synthetic surface in her career and, albeit beaten handily in her last, she takes a sizeable drop in class….dangerous foe. Primed for Passion possesses a strong late run, is a winner of four of five this year, has an ace trainer in her corner and shows a monster five furlong work (:58.2) for this….could run big again. My Option has never finished worse than third in now eight career starts. Fully Living, who is having a good year, and Madame Cactus, who ran big in her last race vs. the fleet Gypsy Robin, both rate an upset chance in this race but, at this writing, they have yet to draw in. Record: 18-49 = 37% To receive an email each time a new Horse Racing article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form    Little Bets N’ Pieces: **** Grade I stakes winner, and the absolutely gorgeous, Dullahan has been retired due to a tendon injury according to Donegal’s managing partner Jerry Crawford. The injury was sustained after the chestnut colt’s last start in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar Aug. 25. “We didn’t think he ran the way we expected him to run in this year’s Pacific Classic and we started investigating, and that’s when we discovered (the injury),” Crawford said. The injury however, is not necessarily career-ending. “We’ve been told by the vets he could race again,” said Crawford. “But when you take a grade I horse who is going to give you a spectacular effort each time, the possibility of him hurting himself in a subsequent race was more than we were willing to risk.” According to Crawford, an early retirement was never previously considered for Dullahan. “Our plan had been to continue to race him as opposed to retiring him to stud right away,” said Crawford. “We think that too many horses get retired young and we really believe in racing. That had been our hope and our plan, but that was not to be.” Dullahan is currently residing at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., as Donegal explores options for his stud career. “We’ve had considerable interest in him, including overseas interest,” said Crawford. “At this point it’s probably 50-50 whether or not he will leave the country.” Overall, Dullahan has won three Grade I races in his career.  The Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at 2, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Pacific Classic at 3. Those three races were incidentally the only three wins out of his 18 career starts.   Dullahan retires to stud **** 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb breezed a half-mile in :49.3 on the main track at BelmontPark last Sunday in preparation for a possible start in the Cigar Mile Nov. 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack It was the first work for Orb since finishing last of eight in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Sept. 28 at Belmont. The handsome colt by Malibu Moon will bypass the Breeders’ Cup according to trainer Shug McGaughey but could return in the Cigar Mile. “I thought he worked fine,” McGaughey said.. “I asked him for :50, he went in :49 and change, 25 and change, 24 and change, and galloped out in 1:02. I’m trying to get him started again and go from there.” “I’ll make up my mind in a couple of weeks,” McGaughey added. “I’ll just fool with him and see where it takes us.” I don’t know, if you ask me I say you pull his shoes and turn him out on the farm for a few months….maybe bring him back in the spring for a four year old campaign.   Kentucky Derby winner Orb will skip the Breeders Cup for a possible race in the Cigar Mile   **** On a sad note, Take Control, a 6-year-old horse by Champion A.P. Indy out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, was euthanized after suffering a catastrophic leg injury to his right foreleg in a workout at Santa Anita on Thursday. Take Control was working in company at the top of the stretch when he broke down and fell. Jockey Martin Garcia was unseated, falling clear of Take Control. Garcia remained on the ground but walked off the track under his own power. Plagued with injuries and issues throughout his career and life, Take Control won 2 of 4 starts and $70,470 (He beat maidens in his debut in December 2009, but did not start again until June 2012, winning an optional claimer. He then finished fourth in the San Diego Handicap and tenth (last) in the recent Awesome Again Stakes (Won by Mucho Macho Man)     One of the best bred horses I’ve ever seen, Take Control, has been euthanized   Breeders Cup Notes:   **** Paynter, who continues a miraculous comeback from a near death experience, had his second to last work in preparation for the Nov. 2 Breeders Cup Classic. The mammoth colt went five-furlongs in 1:00 under jockey Martin Garcia, who will also ride him in BCC. Paynter is coming off a solid second-place finish to Mucho Macho Man in the Awesome Again Stakes, and trainer Bob Baffert said Paynter appears to be coming into the Classic in top form. “He looked really good,” Baffert said. “He looked like the Paynter we know. He worked in company with Den’s Legacy, breaking off from the 4 1/2-furlong pole. I got him going a half in :47, out three-quarters in 1:13.”   Paynter, shown here days before he ran a huge second in the Belmont Stakes, worked well last week.   **** Turf specialist, and another Shug McGaughey trainee, Point of Entry worked five furlongs (in company with Overwhelming) over the BelmontPark inner turf course in 1:01.1 last Sunday under regular rider John Velazquez. .McGaughey said Point of Entry remains on track for a comeback in the Nov. 2 Breeders Cup Turf at Santa Anita. (Point of Entry made a quick comeback from a condylar fracture of his left hind cannon bone sustained while winning the June 8 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap at Belmont.) “He worked very well,” said McGaughey. “I think we’re on the right track. He galloped out good and strong and finished up good.”   Turf demon Point of Entry is on track to run in the Breeders Cup on Nov. 2 **** Elite three year old Palace Malice worked a half-mile (in :48.2) on the training track at Belmont last Sunday as well. “I thought Palace Malice was his normal, very good self,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “A good work and a strong gallop out.” Palace Malice will enter the Classic off a second to Ron the Greek in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Also working at Belmont for the Breeders Cup Classic was Palace Malice’s stable-mate Graydar, who went five furlongs on 1:01.1. “Graydar also was very good,” said Pletcher. “A strong five-eighths for him. Hopefully, we’re making progress towards the Breeders’ Cup Classic with both” Graydar and Palace Malice.   **** Verrazano worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:01 flat last Saturday  on the dirt training track at Belmont Park in preparation for the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The 2013 Haskell winner worked in company with King’s Bishop upset winner Capo Bastone, who is being pointed to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Nov. 2.   ****Over at Churchill Downs, defending Classic winner Fort Larned  ripped five furlongs for trainer Ian Wilkes in 1:00 flat last weekend, second fastest of 22 at that distance. Thanks for Reading….  

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