Tequilita wins the Charles Town Oaks Sept. 23

Tequilita wins the Charles Town Oaks Sept. 23

Coady Photography

Tequilita in Her Wheelhouse in Raven Run

Daughter of Union Rags is 3-for-4 over the seven-furlong distance.

Tequilita's comfort zone has become obvious during her 10-race career.

Though her class has carried her to a graded placing beyond one mile, Dorothy Matz's homebred filly is most formidable sprinting—particularly when traveling seven furlongs. The daughter of Union Rags  will look to build on that reputation Oct. 21 when she heads a field of 11 going that distance in the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.

Trained by Michael Matz, Tequilita is 3-for-4 over seven furlongs with her only loss being a third-place finish in the Aug. 5 Longines Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. Both of her graded stakes victories have also come at that distance, having bested grade 1 winner Pretty City Dancer in the Feb. 4 Forward Gal Stakes (G2) and most recently prevailed in the Sept. 23 Charles Town Oaks (G3) over fellow Raven Run entrant Yorkiepoo Princess.

"I think she's more like her mother (graded stakes winner Sangrita)—best at seven-eighths to a mile," Dorothy Matz said after the Charles Town Oaks. "I think at a mile and a sixteenth, against the right company, she's OK, but we want to run her where she is comfortable."

Tequilita has been worse than third just twice in 10 career starts, boasting four wins with $523,140 in earnings.

Among those who figure to test Tequilita is Todd Pletcher-trained Nonna Mela, winner of the 2016 Adirondack Stakes (G2). The daughter of Arch returned from a 10-month layoff to win an allowance test going seven furlongs at Saratoga this summer and heads into the Raven Run off a second-place finish in the Prioress Stakes (G2) Sept. 3.

Rockingham Ranch's Chalon, who ran second two weeks ago against older fillies and mares in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2), returns to face 3-year-olds after finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind multiple graded stakes winner Finley'sluckycharm. Chalon captured the Jersey Girl Stakes at Belmont Park June 11 and the TCA represented her second try against graded stakes company.

John Oxley's Pretty City Dancer is the only entrant in the Raven Run field with a top-level triumph on her resume, having dead-heated for the win in the 2016 Spinaway Stakes (G1). Things haven't gone right for the daughter of Tapit  since that outing, however, as she has lost all six starts this season after returning from an ankle injury with her most recent effort being a last-place finish in a field of 12 in the Riskaverse Stakes on the turf at Saratoga Aug. 24.

"We're still kind of scratching our head about her," trainer Mark Casse said. "I think it's coming to the point where if she doesn't start running better that she will go home to Mr. Oxley's broodmare band."

Casse originally planned to bring grade 1-placed Valadorna back in the Raven Run but said he would "look for an easier spot" for the daughter of Curlin  for her first start since undergoing surgery for a condylar fracture in her left hind in April.

Entries: Lexus Raven Run S. (G2)

Keeneland, Saturday, October 21, 2017, Race 9

  • Grade II
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:30 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Yorkiepoo Princess (FL)Edwin Gonzalez120Edward R. Barker15/1
22Overture (FL)Jose L. Ortiz118William I. Mott10/1
33Pinch Hit (KY)Jon Kenton Court118Brad H. Cox12/1
44Nonna Mela (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChristopher P. DeCarlo118Todd A. Pletcher9/2
55Happy Mesa (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJames Graham118Michael J. Maker15/1
66Pretty City Dancer (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey J. Lanerie118Mark E. Casse15/1
77Tequilita (KY)Feargal Lynch120Michael R. Matz4/1
88Chalon (KY)Paco Lopez118Peter Miller9/2
99Classy Tune (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlorent Geroux118Simon Callaghan5/1
1010Torrent (KY)Ricardo Santana, Jr.118Ron Moquett30/1
1111Miss Sunset (CA)Julien R. Leparoux120Jeff Bonde4/1