Edited Keeneland Staff Release — Winchell Thoroughbreds’ homebred Wicked Halo, winner of the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga in her most recent start, heads a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 24th running of the $350,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) going 7 furlongs on the main track.
One of two stakes scheduled on Saturday’s 10-race program that begins at 1 p.m. ET, the Lexus Raven Run will go as the ninth race with a 5:16 p.m. post time.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Wicked Halo brings a three-race win streak into the Lexus Raven Run with two of the victories coming at Churchill Downs prior to the Prioress. Tyler Gaffalione, who has been aboard for all three victories, has the mount Saturday and will break from post position eight.
Enhancing the field are three invaders from New York.
Alifyfe Racing’s undefeated Fingal’s Cave ships in for trainer David Donk. The New York-bred daughter of Carpe Diem enters the Lexus Raven Run off a victory in the restricted Fleet Indian at Saratoga on Aug. 26. Joel Rosario has the mount and will break from post position five.
Trainer John Terranova II will send out two runners: Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Steven Schoenfeld’s Delaware Oaks (G3) winner Midnight Stroll and Union Lake, who was third in the Prioress for Schoenfeld. Luis Saez has the call on Midnight Stroll and will break from post nine, while John Velazquez will be aboard Union Lake from post one.
The field for the Lexus Raven Run, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Union Lake (Velazquez, 118 pounds), Smash Ticket (Kendrick Carmouche, 120), Republique (Julien Leparoux, 120), Last Leaf (Martin Garcia, 118), Fingal’s Cave (Rosario, 120), Colorful Mischief (Gerardo Corrales, 120), Freedom Speaks (Florent Geroux, 120), Wicked Halo (Gaffalione, 120) and Midnight Stroll (Saez, 120).
GUNITE, ARTORIUS HEADLINE PERRYVILLE FIELD
Two accomplished homebreds – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Gunite and Juddmonte’s Artorius – headline a field of eight 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 14th running of the $250,000 Perryville (L) going 7 furlongs on the main track.
The first of two stakes scheduled on Saturday’s 10-race program, which begins at 1 p.m. ET, the Perryville will go as the sixth race with a 3:40 p.m. post time.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Gunite has compiled a 5-3-2-0 record in 2022 with his most recent victory coming in the Harrods Creek at Churchill Downs on Sept. 24. Gunite’s biggest victory of the year came in the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga in July. Tyler Gaffalione, who has been aboard for all of Gunite’s 2022 victories has the mount Saturday and will break from post position eight.
Chad Brown trains Artorius, who will be cutting back to a sprint following a sixth-place finish in the Runhappy Travers (G1). A winner of two of four starts, Artorius took the restricted Curlin Stakes (L) at Saratoga prior to his run in the Travers. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position three.
The field for the Perryville, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Hoist the Gold (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118 pounds), Provocateur (Luis Saez, 120), Artorius (Ortiz Jr., 120), Pinehurst (John Velazquez, 118), Friar Laurence (Kendrick Carmouche, 118), B Dawk (Joel Rosario, 118), Of a Revolution (Gerardo Corrales, 118) and Gunite (Gaffalione, 122).
UNBEATEN FINGAL’S CAVE TAKES SHOW
ON THE ROAD FOR LEXUS RAVEN RUN
Alifyfe Racing’s undefeated Fingal’s Cave is scheduled to hit the road this afternoon from Belmont Park en route to Keeneland for Saturday’s 24th running of the $350,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) going 7 furlongs on the main track.
“At some point, we will challenge her and this seems to be a good spot,” trainer David Donk said Wednesday morning from New York. “The Raven Run is for straight 3-year-olds, it’s graded and it is a good spot to see where we stand.”
Fingal’s Cave, who did not make her racing debut until May, in her first two starts walloped fellow New York-breds by a combined 17 ½ lengths sprinting.
The daughter of Carpe Diem, a two-time Grade 1 winner at Keeneland, then walloped open company going 1 1/8 miles. In her most recent start, she won at the same distance in the restricted Fleet Indian on Aug. 26 at Saratoga.
“We looked at the Cotillion (G1 at Parx) and elected not to go, which was a good move because the race came up tough over a tricky track,” Donk said. “I am not sure what her best distance is. She ran so well sprinting in her first two starts, and she has been training really well the past few weeks.”
Fingal’s Cave showed her readiness for the task at hand by working a best-of-42 5 furlongs in :59.21 over the Belmont training track Sunday morning. She is scheduled to arrive at Keeneland Thursday morning with Donk coming Friday.
The filly will mark Donk’s first Keeneland starter since April 2015, when King Kreesa finished sixth in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Fingal’s Cave could give him his second stakes victory here to go with the win by Rough Opening in the Forerunner (G3) in 1996. Donk has started 16 horses at Keeneland with three victories.
STAKES NEXT FOR IMPRESSIVE JULIA SHINING
Stonestreet Stables’ homebred Julia Shining, a full sister to champion Malathaat, made her racing debut on Sunday one to remember as she came from far back to score a 2¾-length victory in the sixth race.
“The end result was what we wanted, but she went about it not in the typical way in winning on debut,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of the 2-year-old filly.
Julia Shining broke well but dropped back to the rear of the 12-horse field in the race over the Beard Course of 7 furlongs, 184 feet.
“She started climbing from the kickback, but once (jockey) Luis (Saez) got her in the clear she was fine,” Pletcher said. “Still, at the five-eighths pole, I was not sure.”
Approaching the far turn, Julia Shining began a four-wide move and by the time the field hit the top of the stretch, she was widest of all and swept past the field.
“I thought the Beard Course might be too short for her,” Pletcher said. “She should relish two turns, and I think the ($250,000) Demoiselle (G2) going a mile and eighth (at Aqueduct) would be a strong possibility and the timing (Dec. 3) is pretty good.”
Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Hidden Brook Farm’s You’re My Girl, runner-up in the Frizette (G1) in her most recent start, arrived at Keeneland Sunday to begin preparations for the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run here Nov. 4. Trained by John Terranova II, You’re My Girl was joined on the trip to Kentucky from New York by Lexus Raven Run (G2) entrants Midnight Stroll and Union Lake for Terranova.
You’re My Girl is scheduled to work Saturday morning
UPCOMING STAKES PROBABLES
$300,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3), fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1½ miles on the turf (entries taken Thursday; race Sunday) – Core Values (trainer Vicki Oliver), Flying Fortress (Shug McGaughey), Luck Money (Arnaud Delacour), Mia Martina (Graham Motion), Sister Otoole (Motion), Stand Tall (Rusty Arnold), Temple City Terror (Brendan Walsh). Possible: Virginia Joy (GER) (Chad Brown).
$300,000 Rubicon Valley View (G3), 3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles on the turf (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, Oct. 28) – California Angel (George Leonard III), Dolce Zel (FR) (Chad Brown). Possible: Diamond Wow (Patrick Biancone).
$200,000 Myrtlewood, 2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs (Entries taken Sunday; race Friday, Oct. 28) – Lady Radler (Michael Campbell), Somebody’s Problem (Greg Foley), Take Charge Briana (D. Wayne Lukas).
$350,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2), 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 26; race Saturday, Oct. 29) – Ain’t Life Grand (Kelly Von Hemel), Defunded (Bob Baffert), First Captain (Shug McGaughey). Possible: West Will Power (Brad Cox).
$300,000 Bryan Station (G3), 3-year-olds, 1 mile on the turf (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 26; race Saturday, Oct. 29) – Speaking Scout (Graham Motion).
$200,000 Bowman Mill, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs (Entries taken Wednesday, Oct. 26; race Saturday, Oct. 29) – BourbonBash(D. Wayne Lukas), Damon’s Mound (Michelle Lovell), Havnameltdown (Bob Baffert). Possible: Sir Lancelot (Mike Stidham