By Amy Owens —-
LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 21, 2017) – Alan Klein and Phil Lebherz’s Miss Sunset wore down pace-setting Chalon in deep stretch to win the 19th running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) for
3-year-old fillies by a half-length before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 27,291.
Trained by Jeff Bonde and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Miss Sunset covered the 7 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.21. It was the sixth stakes victory for Miss Sunset but first in a graded stakes.
The victory was the first stakes win at Keeneland for Bonde and the 60th for Leparoux, who trails only Pat Day (95) in all-time stakes wins here. It was the second victory in the race for Leparoux, who won last year on Lightstream and became the first rider to win consecutive runnings of the race.
Chalon, who finished second here two weeks ago against older fillies and mares in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), set the pace with fractions of :22.64 and :45.61 with Miss Sunset tracking in second. On the far turn, Miss Sunset closed on Chalon but did not push past until inside the sixteenth pole to secure the victory.
Miss Sunset is a California-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Trippi mare Tuscan Sunset. Now a winner of seven of 11 starts, Miss Sunset added $150,000 to her bankroll that now totals $600,390 after Saturday’s victory.
Sent off as a slight favorite, Miss Sunset returned $8.80, $5.40 and $4. Chalon, ridden by Paco Lopez, returned $5.60 and $4.40 with Torrent finishing another length back in third under Ricardo Santana Jr. and paying $13.40 to show.
Tequilita finished another nose back in fourth and was followed in order by Nonna Mela, Classy Tune, Happy Mesa, Pretty City Dancer, Pinch Hit and Overture.
Racing continues Sunday with a nine-program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET that is highlighted by the $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares going 1½ miles on the turf. The Rood & Riddle Dowager is the afternoon’s eighth race with a 4:57 p.m. post time.
Quotes from the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2)
Jeff Bonde (winning trainer of Miss Sunset)
On why the Southern California-based trainer sent the filly to Keeneland for the race
“My owners (Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz) own the mother, and they’ve got some foals out of her coming. They also own (multiple graded stakes winner) Smiling Tiger and thought it was in their interest to take a chance to get graded-placed (in a stakes).”
On whether he was surprised she would win
“This filly is one of the most honest horses I’ve had in a long time. She gives it her all every time.”
Julien Leparoux (winning rider)
On being able to rate the speedy filly
“We got a perfect post for that. I let her break and left her alone. She was very easy to rate, and she finished up very strong.”
On his impressions of her
“She was very nice. She ran very fast. I talked to Mike Smith (who rode her in her three most recent races, resulting in two wins), and he told me I had a great chance. When Mike tells you that (you know) she has a big chance.”
Paco Lopez (rider of runner-up Chalon)
“The fractions were a little fast, but Julien (Leparoux on Miss Sunset) kept following me. I wish he would have left me alone. They just kept chasing me.”
Ricardo Santana Jr. (rider of third-place finisher Torrent)
“We got a great trip with her. The speed was walking (away) with the lead, and she tried hard, she finished pretty good. The trainer did a really good job preparing this horse.”
Sunday at Keeneland is Heroes Day delivered by Papa John’s, which honors members of the military (active duty and veterans), first responders – law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs – and their families with free general admission and access to reserved Grandstand seats. The Family Zone will offer free lunch and children’s activities for those families in the North Terrace.
Heroes Day will feature a spectacular flag unfurling on the main track following the Race 3 Winner’s Circle presentation (approximately 2:12 p.m.).
Local heroes will be recognized in the Winner’s Circle throughout the afternoon. Papa John’s and Keeneland will make a check presentation at 4:15 p.m. to Supporting Heroes, which honors the service and sacrifice of public safety heroes who give their lives in the line of duty by caring for their loved ones.
For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, and it has donated millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit Keeneland.com.