Lightstream Leads Tough Group of Fillies in Raven Run

Gambling
Lightstream looks to resume her winning ways against 11 other fillies on Saturday. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)

The 18th running of the Grade 2 Lexus Raven Run Stakes brings together a superb field of 12 3-year-old filly sprinters at Keeneland, half of them having won their most recent race. Lightstream ran against the toughest foes in her most recent start, finishing second in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga in August. Rested more than two months, she could fire as she did in the spring at Keeneland when winning the Grade 3 Beaumont Stakes at this distance.

Curlin's Approval ships in from Florida off a pair of wins including the Added Elegance Stakes at the distance of the Raven Run. Lucy N Ethel could go to post as the top betting choice as she is undefeated in four races including the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes in her most recent start. Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks winner Covey Trace is another horse to be given respect as a contender, as is Sophia's Song, who finished a nose and a neck from Covey Trace in that race. Southern Girl won the Shine Again Stakes at the distance in her most recent start while Bellamentary won the Angel's Flight Stakes at the distance in May. Both have potential to be competitive in this deep field.

Main contenders:

Lightstream has shown ability since her career debut in March when winning at this seven-furlong trip with a stakes-quality 116 Equibase Speed Figure. Proving that to be no fluke, she won the Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in the spring in only the second start of her career. Lightstream remained undefeated when winning the Soaring Softly Stakes on turf in May, before a third-place finish in the Mother Goose Stakes. In her most recent race, Lightstream rallied furiously from sixth to be beaten just three-quarters of a length in the Test Stakes at this distance, bringing her record at seven furlongs to three wins and one runner-up finish in four races. With a good outside post for the Raven Run and reunited with Julien Leparoux, who rode her to her first two wins including the Beaumont¸ Lightstream should be able to stalk likely pacesetter Lucy N Ethel from the start and go by in the late stages just as she did in the Beaumont six months ago.

Curlin's Approval is a rising star among 3-year-old filly sprinters. She has won three of four career starts including her most recent effort. That effort came in the Added Elegance Stakes in Florida, in which she raced in second for the first half mile before gradually drawing off to win. The 105 speed figure she earned is on par with the figure Lighstream earned when second in the Test and if this gal can repeat that effort, she has every chance to win the Raven Run.

It is always difficult to rank unbeaten horses, particularly those with credentials in graded stakes, below others, and that is certainly the case with Lucy N Ethel, who is a perfect four-for-four in her career. After winning two races in Pennsylvania in November and December, the latter of the two with a 102 figure, Lucy N Ethel ventured to Florida to take the Old Hat Stakes in January before a freshening. Returning in September, she posted the upset at 22-to-1 in the Prioress Stakes with a career-best 114 figure that could put the rest of these to shame if repeated. However, that may not be repeatable as the Prioress was run at six furlongs and Lucy N Ethel has never run this seven-furlong distance. Still, she has the top early speed in the race and any horse that tries to go with her will have the wind taken out of their sails so that's unlikely to happen, leaving Lucy N Ethel all alone on the lead in the early stages. Considering that style has led to her four wins to date, she could win again.

The rest of the field, with their best representative Equibase Speed Figure, is Bellamentary (96), Covey Trace (100), Coniah (110), Grace's Treasure (92), Ma Can Do It (92), Malibu Stacy (93), Sophia's Song (100), Southern Girl (98) and Takrees (107).

My selections:
Lightstream
Curlin's Approval
Lucy N Ethel

You can get the Ellis' selections and analysis for the entire Saturday card at Keeneland here.

2016 Lexus Raven Run S.
October 22nd, 2016

Winning Time: 1:22.68
  • Purse: $250,000
  • Distance: 7 Furlongs
  • Age: 3 yo
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Winning Time: 1:22.68
Results
Win
Place
Show
1st
12 Lightstream
$6.80
$4.20
$3.20
2nd
7 Malibu Stacy
$28.00
$15.80
3rd
9 Coniah
$11.20
4th
8 Curlin's Approval
5th
3 Grace's Treasure
6th
5 Southern Girl
7th
11 Takrees
9th
10 Sophia's Song
10th
6 Bellamentary
11th
2 Ma Can Do It
  • Owner / Kyle W. Nagel
  • Breeder / Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton & Silver Fern Farm, LLC
12th
4 Lucy N Ethel
Payoff
Pick 3
4-5-12
4-5-12
$3,722
Daily Double
5-12
5-12
$75
Exacta
12-7
12-7
$276
Superfecta
12-7-9-8
12-7-9-8
$34,248
Trifecta
12-7-9
12-7-9
$4,068
Payoff
Pick 3
4-5-12
4-5-12
$3,722
Daily Double
5-12
5-12
$75
Exacta
12-7
12-7
$276
Superfecta
12-7-9-8
12-7-9-8
$34,248
Trifecta
12-7-9
12-7-9
$4,068

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