Godolphin Racing’s Flashing, a winner of four of six starts this season, including the grade I Test Stakes, has a clear edge over a full field of 3-year-old fillies in the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) Oct. 24 at Keeneland.
Flashing, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, has not finished out of the money in her six efforts in 2009. Of her four victories, two came in optional claiming events at Aqueduct, another in the Nassau County Stakes (gr. III) in May on the Belmont slop, and two starts ago she drew clear in the stretch to take the Test by 1 1/2 lengths at Saratoga. She is the lone grade I winner in a field of 14 fillies going seven furlongs on Polytrack.
A daughter of A.P. Indy—Morning Pride, by Machiavellian, Flashing was third in both the June 27 Mother Goose (gr. I) when facing Rachel Alexandra, and last out in the Sept. 12 Presque Isle Downs Masters (gr. III) when trying a synthetic surface for the first time. The chestnut filly is two-for-two at the Raven Run distance.
Flashing, bred in Kentucky by Gainsborough Farm, will carry top weight of 123 pounds. She will break from post 8 with Richard Migliore aboard.
Flashing’s stiffest test could come from Just Jenda, a four-time stakes winner in 2009 for Larry Jones, who trains for his wife, Cindy. Just Jenda’s biggest wins have come in the Honeybee (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park in May and the Monmouth Oaks (gr. III) in August when she romped by more than four lengths. Most recently, she was fourth to Careless Jewel in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion (gr. II) Oct. 3 at Philadelphia Park.
The Menifee filly will make her first start on a synthetic surface after 11 lifetime starts on dirt. She had an Oct. 18 breeze over the Keeneland Polytrack, getting five furlongs in 1:01.60. Regular rider Gabe Saez will ride for Jones.
Entering off an impressive stakes victory is Best Lass, trained by Ken McPeek and raced in the name of his Magdalena Racing. Best Lass, by Werblin, pulled away down the stretch to win the Prairie Meadows Oaks by 5 1/4 lengths Sept. 19 for her second win in three starts in 2009. The chestnut filly has run well in both of her two previous synthetics starts. E.T. Baird has the mount.
Other top contenders are Pretty Prolific, who was runner-up to Flashing in the Test before finishing a well-beaten fifth in her last start; Jardin, the Schuylerville (gr. III) victor from last year and a 4 1/2-length winner in an optional claimer in September at Belmont for trainer Tom Albertrani; and Sky Haven, third to Indian Blessing last out in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont.
Lady's Laughter, trained by Charles Lopresti, is the lone starter with a win over the Keeneland Polytrack. The Distorted Humor filly won a seven-furlong allowance race in Lexington in the spring.
$300,000 Lexus Raven Run (gr. II, Race 9, 5:13 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Best Lass (PA), E T Baird, 117, K G McPeek
2. Just Jenda (KY), G Saez, 119, J L Jones
3. Satans Quick Chick (KY), L R Goncalves, 117, E R Reed
4. Pretty Prolific (KY), R Albarado, 117, J E Baker
5. Jardin (FL), M Mena, 117, T Albertrani
6. Moontune Missy (KY), C H Borel, 117, E G Harty
7. All of Her Twist (KY), W Martinez, 117, K J Breen
8. Flashing (KY), R Migliore, 123, S bin Suroor
9 Slides Choice (OH), C J Lanerie, 119, T E Hamm
10. Ivory Empress (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, I R Wilkes
11. Sky Haven (PA), S Bridgmohan, 117, S M Asmussen
12. Lady's Laughter (KY), J Graham, 117, C Lopresti
13. Strike the Bell (KY), J Theriot, 117, D G Donk
14. Don'ttalktome (KY), T J Thompson, 117, J A Hicklin
15. Saucey Evening (CA), J Rose, 117, H G Motion
16. Devil by Design (KY), J L Castanon, 117, W I Mott