Wicked Halo Tops Field for G2 Raven Run
Wicked Halo (Winchell Thoroughbreds), winner of the Prioress Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course in her most recent start, leads a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered in the 24th running of the $350,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (Grade 2) going 7 furlongs on the main track at Keeneland on Saturday, October 22.
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.
|John Terranova, II
|Saffie Joseph, Jr.
|John Terranova, II
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.
Unbeaten Fingal's Cave Eyes 2022 Raven Run
OCT 19 - Undefeated Fingal's Cave (Alifyfe Racing) is scheduled to hit the road this afternoon from Belmont Park en route to Keeneland Racecourse for the 24th running of the $350,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (Grade 2) going 7 furlongs on the main track on Saturday, October 22.
"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.
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Prioress Winner Wicked Halo Tops Nominations For Lexus Raven Run
OCT 8 - Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Wicked Halo, winner of her past three starts highlighted by a score in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga, tops a nomination roster of 33 3-year-old fillies for the 24th running of the Lexus Raven Run (G2) to be run Saturday, Oct. 22 going 7 furlongs on the main track.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Wicked Halo is a two-time Grade 2 winner who took the Adirondack in 2021 at Saratoga.
Other nominees of note include LBD Stable, Manganaro Bloodstock and David Ingordo's Tarabi and H and E Ranch's Desert Dawn.
Cherie DeVaux trains multiple graded stakes-placed Tarabi, who was second to champion Echo Zulu in the 7-furlong Dogwood (G3) at Churchill Downs in her most recent start.
Arizona-bred Desert Dawn won the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) before finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Trained by Phil D'Amato, she was runner-up in the Torrey Pines (G3) at Del Mar in her most recent start.