This Saturday’s Weekend Handicapping we will go to Keeneland and will look at the 13th running of The Lexus Raven Run (G2) , going 7 furlongs for 3YO fillies. There is a field 13 and as of this writing there are no scratches. At first pass, this is a contentious race, based on there is no dominant filly in the group. Several have done well then faded a bit which is not unusual with lightly raced 3YO’s. There is no clear cut front end speed, which makes it difficult because you don’t know if one will wake up and wire the race. In the end, there should be no surprises if a longshot pops in and we see a nice payoff. In fact, I think it will be interesting to see who goes off the favorite. So let’s take a look:
#2 Groupie Doll ML 5/1
Right off the bat, she is a lightly raced 3YO that reeled off three straight wins after her dismal debut. She has speed to run with this group and her last out coming 4 wide she almost caught Strike the Moon. In reading the form notes, it appears several horses she has competed with in the past have gone to win. A couple of mentions are in her last outing, the 9th place finisher took a $250,000 stakes race and the 10th finisher in that same race won a $176,000 stakes last weekend. Lastly, she is one of the few to win a Graded race, the Gardenia (G3) at Ellis back in August.
#12 Mizdirection ML 4/1
I have always liked this Puype trained filly. Had selected her to win the San Clemente, where she finished second to Up In Time. She has shown herself to be solid on turf and now tries synthetic, were Puype’s record is mediocre (turf to synthetic). What does make her attractive is that she likes to go forward, has decent speed and Garrett Gomez is up.
#3 Hot Summer ML 5/1
Some might be surprised not to see Strike the Moon or Roman Treasure sitting here. They will be the dark horses in this race. When I look at this filly, I see a young horse that is on the verge of coming together. Her speed has been fairly consistent of late, she won a G3 at Saratoga and she is getting a weight break now. When I look at her last race, it looks to me like she was brought back quickly and might have been tired from that tough race at the Spa. I like Fawkes Graded Stakes record and Velasquez is back riding her. If she can put it together she can win this race.
#7 Roman Treasure ML 6/1
She has flashed the best Beyer’s of this group, the problem is which one do we get today. She has shown solid bullets at Keeneland, big jockey switch from Dominquez to Leparoux. If she can stay out of trouble and go to the front she might take all the marbles.
#11 Strike the Moon ML 6/1
Hard to ignore her last outing, a good win in a $400,000 stakes race holding off Groupie Doll. Her works have been good and has shown flashes of good speed. She has a history of being a bouncer, and based on her last race of 92 she should be ready for a bounce today. One other thing that makes me shy away from her is the Trombetta is 0 for 23 in Graded Stakes races this season. She might make me look bad today, but like others more.
#4 Great Hot(Brz) ML 6/1
This filly has posted back to back 91’s and showed herself well in her last outing a G1 at Santa Anita, finishing third to Zazu and Ultra Blend. She has won 3 of 6 and this season has been ITM 4 of 5. She has proven herself to be tough down the stretch and if Chantal can keep her close, she has the ability to clear this field.
2 – 12 – 3