Updated 1 month ago
Gillian Campbell, Martin Racing Stable, Greenwood Lodge Farm and Car-Den Racing's Ciao Bella Luna heads an overflow field of 14 three-year-old fillies and two also-eligibles entered Wednesday for Saturday's 15th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) at seven furlongs on the main track.
The Lexus Raven Run, one of the final graded sprints limited to 3-year-old fillies in 2013, will go as the ninth race on Saturday's 10-race program with a 5:23 p.m. (ET) post time.
Ciao Bella Luna, winner of this spring's Beaumont (G2), will attempt to join Gypsy Robin, who last year became the first filly to sweep the Beaumont and Lexus Raven Run.
Now trained by Wayne Catalano, Ciao Bella Luna won the Beaumont by 2½ lengths over the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet in April while being trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Fourth in the Hollywood Oaks (G2) in her most recent start, Ciao Bella Luna will break from post position nine Saturday and be ridden for the first time by Ricardo Santana Jr.
Chief among Ciao Bella Luna's rivals is SF Racing's Lighthouse Bay, winner of the Prioress (G1) in July at Saratoga. Trained by George Weaver, Lighthouse Bay will make her Polytrack debut Saturday. Joe Rocco Jr., who was aboard for the Prioress victory, has the call Saturday and will break from post position five.
Another filly that might attract interest from the public is Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Tanourin Stable's Silsita, who will make her first start on an all-weather surface since winning the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) in March at Turfway Park. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Silsita will break from post position four and be ridden by Mike SmithThe field for the Lexus Raven Run, from the rail out, is as follows: Plenty O'Toole (Marcelino Pedroza Jr., 118 pounds), Sittin At the Bar (Mark Guidry, 120), Turn by Turn (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Silsita (Smith, 118), Lighthouse Bay (Rocco Jr., 122), Thetaloveandmine (James Graham, 118), Jewel of a Cat (Chris DeCarlo, 118), Elusive Fate (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Ciao Bella Luna (Santana Jr., 120), My Option (Eduardo Perez, 118), Irish Lute (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Primed for Passion (Mario Pino, 118), Finding More (David Flores, 118) and Eden Prairie (Robby Albarado, 118). Also-eligibles: Fully Living (Corey Lanerie, 118) and Madame Cactus (Joe Talamo, 118).
KASSEN TURNS BACK THE CLOCK WITH TWO-WIN SUNDAY
Five trainers have enjoyed two-win days during the first eight days of Keeneland's fall meet. Dave Kassen was the most recent to join the club Sunday when he won the second race with J.L.'s Princess for Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung and the seventh with Celebrity Star.
The other trainers with two-win days this meet are Todd Pletcher, Tom Proctor, Wesley Ward and Mike Maker.
"I had one streak back here in the ‘70s when I won seven straight races over three days," said Kassen, 74. "My next horse went off 8-5 and ran third to end the streak."
A regular at Keeneland for most of his training career that began in 1971, Kassen is one of three men to ride and train stakes winners at Keeneland, which opened its doors in 1936.
"I have been around here since back in the ‘50s," said Kassen, who has 14 horses in his barn. "My first job on the racetrack was at River Downs in 1948. I sneaked in through a fence and walked hots for 50 cents a day."
Kassen, who rode Hail to Patsy to win the 1969 Kentucky Oaks, won two stakes at Keeneland as a rider: the 1970 Ben Ali on Gallant Moment and a division of the Bewitch in 1971 on Sidle. Kassen's stakes wins as a trainer came with Winged Wishes in the first division of the 1974 Ashland (G3) and with Cad, who dead-heated for the victory in the 1983 Fayette (G3).
Kassen, who has two horses entered on Thursday's card, will look for a second victory in the Fayette - now the Grade 2 Hagyard Fayette - on Saturday, Oct. 26 with Richard Sherman's Nikki's Sandcastle.
"He will likely work tomorrow," Kassen said of his stable star, who has earned nearly $400,000 and finished second to Newsdad in last year's Fayette. "I took him up to Indiana Downs (for the Schaefer Memorial on Oct. 5), but it rained so hard that the track was a sea of mud so I scratched him and turned around and came back."
The two other men to accomplish riding-training stakes doubles at Keeneland are Doug Dodson and Dave Erb.
Dodson won 12 stakes from 1945-58 as a rider and saddled Packer Captain to win the 1974 Blue Grass. Erb won the 1958 Blue Grass on Plion and trained Jet to Market, winner of the 1967 Bewitch.
Gary and Mary West's Poker Player, winner of the off-the-turf Bourbon on Oct. 6, worked five furlongs in :59.60 in company in preparation for a run in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. ...
Trainer and co-owner Phil Sims said that his stakes-winning mare Don't Tell Sophia, runner-up in the Mari Hulman George at Indiana Downs on Oct. 5 in her first start in nearly six months, is being pointed to the $150,000-added Chilukki (G2) on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs.
FALL MEET SPECIAL EVENTS
Thursday, Oct. 17
Jockey Autograph Signing. Meet retired jockeys and current Keeneland riders from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. adjacent to the paddock. Jockeys will sign posters and commemorative autograph books sold for $5 to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Friday, Oct. 18
College Scholarship Day. The popular event attracts thousands of students from colleges and universities in Kentucky and neighboring states. Admission is free for full-time students, who can register in the College Zone in the North Terrace to win a $1,000 scholarship awarded after each of the day's 10 races. The first 1,000 students to register for a scholarship receive a free Keeneland College Scholarship Day T-shirt courtesy of Kennedy's Wildcat Den and a hat from Vineyard Vines. In the College Zone, students can enjoy music; free snacks from Qdoba, Raising Cane's, Core Power and Drake's; photos by LexScene; and prize drawings after each race. Students also can register for the Drake's Handicapping Challenge; one student will win the opportunity to place a $500 bet on the feature race, the Pin Oak Valley View (G3).
Tailgating on The Hill. Located adjacent to the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, The Hill features a variety of food trucks, a jumbo television screen featuring Keeneland racing, the Keeneland Gift Shop, wireless wagering and wagering terminals, and race-day programs and general admission tickets available for purchase. A complimentary shuttle will take fans to the grandstand. BETologists will be on hand to assist fans.
The Keeneland Gift Shop will feature University of Kentucky merchandise and the Vineyard Vines collection from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday Pick 4 Presented by TVG. A $200,000-guaranteed pool will be offered on the last four races of the day.
Craft Beer Tent. A craft beer tent in the North Terrace will feature popular local craft beers.