George Strawbridge Jr.’s Informed Decision took advantage of blazing fractions in the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO), as the 3-year-old Monarchos filly came from off the pace, took control in mid-stretch and drew away to win by 4 1/4 lengths under John Velazquez while setting a new course record on the Keeneland Polytrack Oct. 18.
Sent out as the 6-5 betting choice in a field of 13 sophomore fillies, Informed Decision covered seven furlongs in 1:20.86 to break the previous mark held by Carnacks Choice, who recorded a time of 1:21:05 April 7, 2007. It was her fifth win in a seven-race career that only began in January. Jonathan Sheppard trains the gray/roan filly.
Secret Gypsy, who recorded a :21.96 opening quarter and :44.21 half-mile, was able to hold second under Robby Albarado, a neck in front of third-place Dubai Majesty. Valentine Fever was fourth.
Breaking from post 3, Informed Decision stayed near the rail in mid-pack during the early going while Secret Gypsy burned six furlongs in 1:08.23. Dubai Majesty stalked the pace and had first run at the leader at the top of the lane, but Informed Decision began to get revved up while angling out towards the middle of racetrack and reeled in the pacesetter nearing the sixteenth-pole.
“It worked out really well," Velazquez said. "We knew there was a lot of speed in the race. We wanted to come out of there and get her in position where she was comfortable. Once I got around the turn, I got a clear trip on her and was able to make sure she could get her momentum. Once I got her going, she quickened up down the lane and it was very impressive.”
Informed Decision, a $320,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale purchase, entered the Raven Run off a 1 3/4-length victory in the seven-furlong Missile Belle Sept. 20 at Belmont. Three starts ago she won an optional claimer on the same Keeneland Polytrack by nearly seven lengths. This was her first graded stakes score.
The winner paid $4.40, $3 and $2.60. The exacta (3-10) returned $18.60, with the trifecta (3-10-5) netting $272.40.
“Johnny gave her a perfect ride," Sheppard said. "It set up the way we expected, tuck in behind the speed horses and hopefully be able to ease out around them and not get trapped on the rail. Luckily, the horses on her outside dropped back going into the turn, so we had clear running room. I had a feeling if (Velazquez) was close to the lead, if he had his sights on the leaders turning for home, that she probably would wear them down because she really stays on strongly. She’s got a good finish to her.”
Set Play finished fifth, followed by Golden Doc A, Extra Sexy Psychic, Dreaming of Liz, Spring Awakening, Rated Fiesty, Absolutely Cindy, Awesome I Am and Ride Em Cowgirl.
Bred in Kentucly by C. Kidder and N. Cole, Informed Decision is out of the His Majesty mare Palangana. She has now earned $336,587.