Gypsy Robin, frontrunning winner of the Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland in the spring, headlines a field of 14 sophomore fillies Oct. 20 for the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) going seven furlongs on Polytrack.
Undefeated in two starts over the Keeneland surface, Gypsy Robin enters the Lexus Raven Run off a runner-up finish to Contested in the Aug. 25 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course for owners King 9 Stables, Gatewood Bell, and Bret Jones. The Wesley Ward-trained Daaher filly breaks from post 11 under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
Steve Beneto's Via Villaggio, winner of the seven-furlong Railbird Stakes (gr. III) in May at Betfair Hollywood Park, traveled East this summer and ran second in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II) to Grace Hall and third in the Alabama (gr. I) behind Questing and In Lingerie. Last time out she was fourth, narrowly edged for the show, in the Sept. 29 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) against older fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Christina Jelm oversees Hollendorfer's horses when they ship East, and handled Via Villaggio's preparations for both her Delaware Park and Saratoga starts.
"She's a good traveler," Jelm remarked of the Bernardini filly. "She's bright and alert and loves to get outside. When she got here, she knew where the racetrack was. It looks like she traveled just as she has before. I think she is going to run well here.
"I think Jerry chose this race because it is one of the last races of the year for 3-year-olds and the distance," Jelm continued. "She won a graded stake earlier this year (the Railbird) going seven-eighths."
Martin Pedroza, who was aboard for the Railbird as well as in the Zenyatta going 1 1/16 miles, will have the mount. Pedroza has one Keeneland stakes victory in his career, the 1991 Beaumont aboard Ifyoucouldseemenow.
"I think the Zenyatta was one of her better races," Jelm said of Via Villaggio. "Martin knows her and he put her right in the race."
Killer Graces, winner of the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) in December, seeks her first win of 2012. Owned in partnership by Hollendorfer, Daniel Borislow, Gillian Campbell and Steve Melen, the daughter of Congaree enters off a fourth-place finish in the Sept. 29 Unzip Me Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita.
"This is the first time she has shipped from Southern California," Jelm said of the three-time stakes winner. "She handled the trip well and ate up everything last night."
Salvador Hernandez's homebred Arlington Oaks (gr. III) victress La Tia and Barry King's 2011 Debutante (gr. III) winner Flashy Lassie, trained by Gary Simms, are also in the field.
La Tia, a daughter of City Place trained by Brian Williamson, is fresh off a score in the Sept. 23 La Lorgnette Stakes at Woodbine. Flashy Lassie, by Flashy Bull, earned her first win since the Debutante in her most recent start at Hoosier Park, where she took a six-furlong optional claimer by 1 1/2 lengths Sept. 7.
Peachtree Stable's Sacristy, trained by Wayne Catalano, rounds out the graded stakes winners. The Pulpit filly took the Old Hat (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in January and was second in the Beaumont to Gypsy Robin; she won an Aug. 23 optional claimer in her most recent start at Arlington.
$250,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, approximate post 5:27 p.m. EDT), 3YO Fillies, seven furlongs (All Weather Track)