Leah's Secret Sly Winner of Rich Raven Run

Leah's Secret Sly Winner of Rich Raven Run
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Leah's Secret (6) holds on for determined Lexus Raven Run win.
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Leah's Secret emerged from the pack mid-stretch and held off fellow outsider Vestrey Lady to win the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies, creating some huge payoffs at Keeneland Saturday.

The Helen Pitts-trained Leah's Secret, ridden by Mark Guidry at odds of 18-1, paid $38.80, $20.20, and $11.60, combining with Vestrey Lady ($13.60, $9.20) for a $490 exacta. A third long shot - Ex Caelis ($10.40) - rounded out a $26,441 trifecta. Favored Windy took fourth to complete a $1 trifecta pay-out of $94,517.70.

The Raven Run was the graded stakes debut for Leah's Secret, a dark bay daughter of Tiger Ridge--Lady Cruella (Capote).

Pitts reunited Guidry with Leah's Secret after she ran fifth at Turfway Park in her only previous start on Polytrack Sept. 23, beaten six lengths by Malibu Mint in the Weekend Delight. Guidry had ridden her to two of her three previous victories.

"It was (a) very tough (field), and I hoped that I hadn't overfaced her," said Pitts. "But I always knew she was a very nice filly, and it was just a matter of catching straight 3-year-olds at the end of the year and hope we'd get by with it."

Leah's Secret was in good position while stalking the pacesetting Lake Alice on the outside into the stretch Saturday where she gained the advantage near the furlong marker. She completed the seven-furlong distance in 1:22 3/5 under a full drive while defeating 17-1 Vestrey Lady and substitute rider John McKee by three parts of a length.

"We had a great trip," said Guidry. "I was in the catbird's seat all the way. I was first to the outside overlooking the inside speed. Turning for home, I pressed on her and she responded gamely."

The runner-up finished a half-length in front of 23-1 Ex Caelis, who closed smartly from the rear of the pack along the rail for jockey Corey Lanerie. Windy, the 2-1 choice ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was just a neck back in fourth.

Starry Pie was another head behind in fifth, followed by My Lucky Free, Chandelle No. Five, Morner, Cherokee Jewel, Sabatini, Jazzy Okie, and Lake Alice.

Lake Alice set early fractions of :23 1/5 and :46 2/5 before Vestrey Lady, close up between the front-runner and Morner, took the lead briefly.

Leah's Secret earned $186,000 for her first win since taking the Lazar Show Handicap at Churchill Downs July 4. Overall, she has four victories in eight starts and earnings of $282,252 for owners First Klass Stable LLC.

Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds bred Leah's Secret, a $50,000 Ocala Breeders' Sale Company yearling purchase in 2004, in Florida.

(Chart, Equibase)

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