The penultimate Saturday card of 2020 at Keeneland is upon us. The 10-race slate is headlined by a strong rendition of the Raven Run (G2) for 3-year-old fillies. The $200,000 event makes up the fourth leg of a challenging late Pick 5 sequence.
Things get rolling with a competitive starter allowance event at the tricky 7-furlong distance. #1 Cool Bobby and #2 Jessup are listed as the top two choices on the morning line, but will have to deal with other speed signed on to their outside. If either of them can relax in the pocket they will be tough to beat, but if not, it could set things up for an upset.
#5 Mister K is an intriguing option. The 3-year-old gelding ran well versus similar in his first start off the freshening for trainer Neil Pessin. In that try, the son of Kantharos checked out of things on the backstretch, but showed some grit to fight on and finish third. The Lothenbach Stables runner has a win in his only start at Keeneland and projects to sit a perfect mid-pack trip. At 12-1 he is worth including.
There are some well-bred debut runners, as well as a few interesting second-time starters in this highly competitive special weight event for 2-year-old fillies.
#4 Miss Dial is a full-sister to 2018 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) runner-up Chalon, while #10 Wicked Bisou is a half to 2019 champion older female Midnight Bisou. Both Tom Amoss trainees come into their first start off a long series of drills in Louisville and appear capable of running a big one at first asking. So, does #5 Willful Woman. The daughter of Nyquist is a half-sister to 2016 Pocahontas (G2) runner-up Ever So Clever and debuts for a barn that has dominated 2-year-old races all year. I will include all three of these first-time starters as well as #3 Three Tipsy Chix and #7 Bel Fiore. Bel Fiore did not show much speed in her first start, but finished well to earn third. Three Tipsy Chix did little running in her initial try, but comes out of a very live maiden race and should take a significant step forward in career start number two.
#2 Dontblamerocket gets much needed class relief after trailing early and running on late to finish fifth in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs. The son of Blame has not visited the winner’s circle since rattling off three consecutive victories in his first three tries for Norm Casse, but has been facing better. Look for Tyler Gaffalione to have this 6-year-old gelding closer to the pace on the backstretch and to take control mid-stretch in this 9-furlong affair over the Keeneland lawn.
Race 9: Raven Run (G2)
#2 Four Graces and #5 Venetian Harbor are the deserving top two choices, and have the best resumes making them hard to leave off your ticket in Saturday’s feature. However, a couple of other fillies intrigue at much better prices.
#6 Reagan’s Edge draws favorably outside the two favorites after finishing a solid second to multiple graded stakes winner Frank’s Rockette. The Lael Stables runner has trained forwardly since shipping back to Louisville and appears poised for a career best effort for trainer Cherie DeVaux. #10 Secret Keeper has run three big races in Southern California to start her career for veteran conditioner Clifford Sise Jr. The Pam and Marty Wygod homebred cuts back to one turn and attracts the services of Brian Hernandez Jr. She should be every bit of her 12-1 morning line making her a must use.
#2 Quarterback Dak drops in class and tries a fast main track for the first time in his career for trainer Wesley Ward. The Texas-bred has run well over the off going and should find a perfect pocket trip assuming a clean break, but is difficult to endorse with confidence despite hitting the board in five of six career starts. I will use several in this conditioned claimer, including #3 Money for Mischief. The son of Into Mischief has been a disappointment, but made a bold move and looked like the winner on Sept. 24 at Churchill Downs before tiring badly late. With a better-timed ride, he is capable of springing the upset on the class hike.
- R6: 1+2+5
- R7: 3+4+5+7+10
- R8: 2
- R9: 2+5+6+10
- R10: 2+3+8+9
Ticket Cost: $120