This weekend’s Horse Racing Race of the Week brings us to Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky as we take a closer look at the 2012 Raven Run Stakes for three year old fillies. Gypsy Robin has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for the seven furlong contest that drew a full field of 14.
Keeneland – October 20, 2012
Race 9 – 5:27 PM
Lexus Raven Run Stakes. (Grade II)
For Three Years Old Fillies
|1||1||Sweet Cat||3/F||L||J R Leparoux||118||T A Pletcher||
|2||2||Assateague||3/F||L||J Rocco, Jr.||118||M R Matz||
|3||3||La Tia||3/F||L||J L Castanon||120||B Williamson||
|4||4||Lotta Lovin||3/F||L||R Napravnik||118||M J Maker||
|5||5||Yankee Union||3/F||L||B J Hernandez, Jr.||118||T Drury, Jr.||
|6||6||Killer Graces||3/F||L||S Bridgmohan||118||J Hollendorfer||
|7||7||Anna Sophia||3/F||L||V Lebron||118||W I Mott||
|8||8||Drama Drama||3/F||L||J K Court||118||V H Oliver||
|9||9||Flashy Lassie||3/F||L||C J Lanerie||118||G W Simms||
|10||10||Via Villaggio||3/F||L||M A Pedroza||118||J Hollendorfer||
|11||11||Gypsy Robin||3/F||L||J R Velazquez||120||W A Ward||
|12||12||Monono||3/F||L||L R Goncalves||118||M Lovell||
|13||13||Mercy Lou||3/F||L||C Villasana||118||G S Bennett||
|14||14||Sacristy||3/F||L||M Mena||118||W M Catalano||
1) Gypsy Robin- has a couple of things to like about her. First off, she’s made three starts over the synthetic surface and has won all three by a combined 14 ½ lengths. (Two of those wins were over this exact surface).
Second, that was a huge second she ran in the prestigious Test Stakes atSaratoga in her last. In the Test, she was forced wide on the turn yet still poked her head in front just inside the quarter pole only to be run down late by the ultra talented Contested…. She meets no such rival in this race
Third, she shows a series of good works leading up to this race. Overall she looks slightly best on paper in a very contentious field.
2) La Tia- speedy filly is obviously a synthetics monster judging by her past performances and those 8-1 morning line odds are inviting.
After really not showing all that much in her first three starts (on traditional dirt), she is unbeaten on the synthetics in now four career starts over it. She is 4 for 4 and won all four of those races by a combined 19 lengths. Moreover, she won them all “on the engine” (leading every step of the way) and at longer distances that Saturday afternoon’s race. In fact, she is one length shy of coming into this race on a five race win streak
She should be winging it out there on the early lead, but the troubling part is there is other speed signed up in this race and she must not get hooked in an early speed dual. If she does, she can be trouble down the stretch.
3) Via Villaggio- this Bernardini filly shows several good efforts in races and fields tougher than this race. (Second to Grace Hall, third to a streaking Questing and beaten less than four lengths in the Grade: 1 Zenyatta Stakes in her last).
Closes and, with an early speed dual likely, she could be coming late in this one.
Honorable Mention: Drama Drama, who was very impressive coming from last (twelfth) to win going away in her last. She steps up in company for this race, but past performances show she can turn on the jets down the stretch on a fairly consistent basis…longshot possibility?
Little Bets N’ Pieces:
**** Horse of the World Frankel will be gunning for his 14th, and possibly last, consecutive win on Saturday in the QIPCO British Champions Stakes, which is the final day of the Ascot meet and possibly the swan song of the his great career.
The 4 year old Galileo colt, who is listed as the 1/5 morning line favorite, will most likely be running on a “soft” turf course with torrential rains hitting the track on Wednesday.
Frankel will be facing five opponents, including European champion Cirrus des Aigles and the talented Nathaniel, in the QIPCO Champion Stakes, the centerpiece of the QIPCO British Champions Day.
“I don’t mind if it is slightly on the soft side,” trainer Henry Cecil said. “If it’s very heavy, you can be in no-man’s land but soft ground won’t bother him at all.
“The adrenaline is going. We’ve got him so far unbeaten. I’d like him to win atAscot.”
“I could not be happier with him;” Cecil added “He seems full of himself.”
Cirrus des Aigles might be the biggest threat to Frankel according to his trainer Corrine Barande-Barbe. “If we beat Frankel, for me it will not be such a surprise,” she said. “Frankel has never met a horse like Cirrus. My horse was very impressive in the Prix Dollar. He might still be improving. He won’t mind very soft ground, but maybe that will disturb the others.”
The other runners entered are (Frankel’s stablemate and three-quarter brother) Bullet Train, Pastorius and Master of Hounds.
**** Owner Mike Repole will not send any horses to this year’s Breeders Cup World Championship.
Repole had been considering sending six horses (four 2 year-olds, Grade: 2 winner Overanalyze, Notacatbutallama, Coconut Shrimp, and Micromanage as well as older horses Grade: 1 winner Stay Thirsty and two-time Grade: 2 winner Caixa Eletronica.), but since the Breeders Cup committee has banned the race day medication Salix for two year olds, Repole changed his mind.
Salix, also referred to as Lasix, is the one drug proven to prevent exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
“If you want to experiment with racing 2-year-olds without Lasix, I think I’m open to that. But let’s do it on the second race atBelmonton a Wednesday afternoon. Let’s not do it on one of the biggest days when people are actually paying attention,” Repole said. “To me it makes no sense. Why would you want to experiment with top 2-year-olds? I wouldn’t want it to be my horse who bleeds or gets injured.”
“I always say you need to worry about the horse first and the fans second,” Repole said. “This decision seems to say they’re not really worried about the horse and they’re not really worried about the fans.”
**** Dialed In, who won the 2011 Florida Derby and was the 2011 Kentucky Derby favorite, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2013 breeding season at Darby Dan Farm nearLexington. A stud fee has not yet been announced.
“This horse will be as bittersweet of a story for me as I’ll ever have,” said trainer Nick Zito. “He showed how brilliantly gifted he was breaking his maiden at Churchill first time out, and then winning the Holy Bull (Stakes) like he did in his second start, before, of course, winning the Florida Derby. I know the phrase gets overused in this game, but Dialed In was truly one of the best—if not the best—I ever trained. He was up there with Bellamy Road, Commentator,War Pass, all of them.”
Dialed In, who possessed a devastating late run when he was right, retires with a record of 3-1-0 from seven starts and earnings of $941,936, has been bought by a group led by Doug Cauthen of Doug Cauthen Thoroughbred Management, and Robert Hammond, general manager of Darby Dan Farm.
“I have a great feeling about Dialed In,” said Cauthen. “He’s a gorgeous horse who exudes class, and his pedigree is top notch. Throw in his raw talent, as displayed by his acceleration in his graded stakes wins, and it makes him a very exciting stallion prospect. To launch his career at Darby Dan alongside Shackleford in 2013 only adds to the synergy of this deal.”
**** Grade I winner Creative Cause has also been retired to stud at Brereton and Elizabeth Jones’ Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky. Creative Cause will stand his first season for $15,000.
At 3, Creative Cause was one of my top Kentucky Derby prospects after he defeated Bodemeister in the San Felipe Stakes. After being beaten by I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby, he was beaten three lengths in the Kentucky Derby. After the Derby, he came third in the Preakness Stakes in what would turn out to be his last race.
“I couldn’t believe more strongly that Creative Cause is as good a stallion prospect as we’ve put in the Airdrie stallion barn,” said Brereton Jones. “He is the absolute total package. He’s a grade I winning millionaire, by a grade I-winning millionaire that’s a perennial leading sire, and out of a grade I-winning millionaire that beat Ashado in the Apple Blossom. People may not realize this, but he literally beat every horse he ever ran against at least once, and he ran against every top horse in his generation including I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, Union Rags, Paynter, Hansen, Gemologist, Alpha, and Dullahan”.
**** Game on Dude spearheaded a line of Breeders Cup hopefuls on the work tab last Sunday morning. The probable post time favorite for the $5 million Classic worked five furlongs in :59 3/5
“He (new jockey Raphael Bejarano) said he felt like an airplane,” trainer Bob Baffert said “This track right now is the best it’s been since we’ve been here. I think the rain (three-quarters of an inch on Thursday) really helped. The track has bounce to it. I should have worked more horses today.”
Baffert also worked Grade 1 winner Power Broker with Bank the Eight, and Fast Bullet six furlongs from the gate in company with Smiling Tiger (trained by Jeff Bonde).
Power Broker was clocked in :59 1/5, Bank the Eight got :59 2/5. Fast Bullet was clocked in a bullet 1:11 2/5 and Smiling Tiger was timed in 1:12.
“Power Broker went really nice,” Baffert said “and I might run Fast Bullet in the (Breeders’ Cup) Sprint.”
**** Unbeaten champion My Miss Aurelia worked five furlongs for the Ladies’ Classic in :59 2/5.
“She went beautiful,” said trainer Steve Asmussen “They caught her a little quicker than I did but I thought she went over the track great.”
**** Filly & Mare Sprint contender Switch went four furlongs in a bullet :45 4/5 and Filly & Mare Turf hopeful Lady of Shamrock also worked, going six furlongs on the grass in 1:15 4/5.
**** 2011 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Royal Delta ripped four furlongs :47.2 at BelmontPark last weekend . “She looks as good as ever,” said trainer Bill Mott .
**** Ron the Greek, another Mott trainee, went a half-mile in :48.1
“We gave him a workmate (a two year old) just to keep him interested since it was his first work in a while,” Mott said.
**** Still another Mott runner, To Honor and Serve also worked a half-mile in :47 over Belmont’s training track as did Flat Out, who galloped over the main track.
“I can’t guarantee all will win, but all have proven they can compete at highest level,” said Mott. Mott added he plans to ship his horses to California on the Monday of Breeders’ Cup week.
**** 2011 Haskell Invitational winner Paynter left the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’sNewBoltonCenter on Thursday and was heading toFairHill Equine Therapy Center in Elkton,Md., where he is expected to rehabilitate from a serious illness and surgery, owner Ahmed Zayat said.
“We decided to be extremely cautious in his rehab,” Zayat explained. “He is ultimately going to end up being inKentuckyfor rehab for 2-3 months, but we want him first to rehab 3-4 weeks here, and then make the trip. We’d like to ship him there Sunday (Oct. 14) atnoon, or it might be moved to Monday (Oct. 15) morning if we can’t get the right van.”
Paynter began spiking fevers after winning the Haskell and had been hospitalized at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y., since the week of August 26 while fighting an infection of his colon and a bout of laminitis in three feet.
“He’s an absolute miracle, he has defied all odds,” Zayat said. “It has been unbelievable peaks and valleys with him. He has won all his battles; he’s so resilient, this is a horse I’d like to model my life on, the motto that one can never give up”.