LEXUS RAVEN RUN STAKES | PURSE: $250,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | GRADE 2 | 7 FURLONGS
Gypsy Robin was an impressive wire-to-wire winner of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run Oct. 20, blitzing to the lead at Keeneland and never looking back as she easily overpowered 13 sophomore fillies by four lengths.
The 3-year-old daughter of Daaher has three starts at the Lexington oval and three wins including the April 15 Beaumont Stakes. The 6-5 favorite ran seven furlongs on the Polytrack in 1:21.79 under jockey John Velazquez for trainer Wesley Ward and an ownership group that includes Wes Welker of the New England Patriots, Bret Jones, and Gatewood Bell.
"I told Gatewood that as long as she's doing it easy, I'm going to leave it alone," Velazquez said of the speedy filly's place on the lead. "I didn't think they were fast enough to be in front of her today."
Monono tried to keep pace with the swift frontrunner through a quarter in :22.17 and a half in :45.30, but after three-quarters in 1:09.24 Gypsy Robin shook clear of her rivals and widened her advantage heading for home.
"When I got to the quarter pole, she switched and went on very well, it was really a nice explosion. She made me look good," Velazquez remarked.
Sacristy, at 12-1, and 22-1 shot Drama Drama a half-length back rounded out the trifecta, both closing but still outdistanced. It was 4 1/2 lengths back to Assateague, while Anna Sophia, Mercy Lou, Killer Graces, Yankee Union, Lotta Lovin, Monono, La Tia, Via Villaggio, and Sweet Cat completed the order of finish before 25,287 in attendance on a chilly and overcast day.
The 120-pound high weight, Gypsy Robin returned $4.40, $3.20, and $2.80 while Sacristy paid $9.40 and $6.20 and Drama Drama brought $7.80.
Gypsy Robin came off a runner-up finish to Contested in the Aug. 25 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, her return to contentious form off a disappointing sixth going six furlongs in the July 7 Victory Ride at Belmont Park. Prior to that uncharacteristic finish, she had strung together a three-race win streak dating back to September of 2011. She did not race after taking the Sept. 5 Sorority Stakes last year on dirt at Monmouth Park until her Keeneland victory in the Beaumont this spring, but then also won the Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs May 15 on the all-weather track.
The bay filly was a $27,000 purchase from the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2010 and has earned $498,000 with a 5-1 record from nine starts. She was bred in Kentucky by Cloyce C. Clark Jr. out of the Indian Charlie mare Feisty Princess.
"She loves the track, she's trained here, she's always run well here, she's a really fast filly," said Bell. "She just ran awesome; Wesley had her primed today."