Three-year-old fillies take center stage in the seven-furlong Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland this Saturday. A Grade II event, the Raven Run carries a purse of $250,000. It will go off at approximately 5:30 p.m. EST as the ninth race of the day at the Lexington, KY oval. Don’t forget to check out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#4 LUCY N ETHEL (9-2) comes into this race a perfect 4-for-4 lifetime, but there are some lingering questions about her. Tom Amoss is her third different trainer and while he’s winning at 27% on the year, he’s only 1-for-8 at the Keeneland autumn meet. Corey Lanerie will get a leg up on LUCY N ETHEL for the first time, representing her third different jockey to date.
Also, she’s had the lead at every call in her brief career, so it remains to be seen if she can win any other way. She’ll be going longer than she ever has before, and will likely face intense early pressure from #8 CURLIN’S APPROVAL, #9 CONIAH, #10 SOPHIA’S SONG and possibly #6 BELLAMENTARY. I’ll be betting against a repeat of her Prioress effort at Saratoga that saw her post a 22-1 upset.
#12 LIGHTSTREAM is the 3-1 morning-line favorite and brings a strong stakes résumé to the table. However, she had no excuse not to win the Test at Saratoga after cutting back to a distance she was 3-for-3 at. She also lost to 55-1 shot Paola Queen that day, who returned with a dud effort in the Beldame earlier this month.
LIGHTSTREAM did win the Beaumont over this course in April under Julien Leparoux and is reunited with him today, but I believe she has peaked and is worth playing against, especially from this post.
#1 COVEY TRACE and Brian Hernandez Jr. look like the right call at 15-1. COVEY TRACE flew home late to take the Charles Town Oaks last time out, but she can win from just about anywhere on the racetrack. Hernandez has already won two races on her back this year. She should be able to save ground then pounce late from the rail post.
#7 MALIBU STACY (30-1) is worth a long look here at big odds. She nearly won the Victory Ride Stakes on July 9 before galloping over allowance foes two-back. Toss her latest effort as she didn’t care for turf.
The play: $8 win 1, $4 win 7 ($12)
DFJ analysis: Julien Leparoux ($9,000) rides five favorites on a 10-race card (including LIGHTSTREAM in the Raven Run), so it’s imperative to have him in your stable this Saturday. Brian Hernandez Jr. ($8,500) rides a pair of second choices earlier in the card before taking the reins on live longshot COVEY TRACE in the Raven Run.
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