Raven Run Stakes

Fast fillies move into the spotlight in the feature G2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, when recent Graded-stakes winners Alva Starr, Vahva and Lady Radler bring hot form to the table against last-time-out flop Dazzling Blue.

Breeders Cup Odds

Raven Run Stakes

G2, $350,000, 7f dirt, 3yo fillies, 5.16pm ET

In a contest divided neatly into two halves, the can-do group and the probably can’t-do bunch, the Raven Run – the highlight of Saturday afternoon at Keeneland – brings together three upwardly mobile fillies with last-time-out victories at Graded level, this trio taking out most of the market.

The morning-line likes Alva Starr (2-1), who has never been out of the first two and took a long stride up the ladder in the 2023 G2 Prioress over six furlongs at Saratoga. She blazed gate-to-wire, clearing right away to score by eight and three-quarter lengths with the favoured Dazzling Blue (9-2) another two and a half lengths back in third, and although she stretches out for the first time she should have no issue with the extra yardage.

The strong finisher Vahva (3-1) made her stakes breakthrough in the 2023 G3 Charles Town Oaks over seven furlongs, driving hard through the short stretch to get the job done by a length and a quarter, with the regressive Lily Poo (20-1) nine lengths back in fifth. The race will set up nicely to give Vahva plenty of pace to run at.

On her previous start Vahva finished a length and a half behind Dazzling Blue when they ran two-three in the 2023 G3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park over six and a half furlongs, but going longer suits her and she is coming off a high while Dazzling Blue needs to rebound from that Spa blowout.

Lady Radler (5-1) will also get a beneficial set-up, and came through off a fast pace to take the 2023 G3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs over seven furlongs, winning going away by an easy two and three-quarter lengths. That was her first try over seven and it certainly moved her up, but she was a 23-1 shot there and needs to prove that it was not a fluke.

The quality dips away from here, although Apple Picker (15-1) did make her stakes breakthrough over six furlongs at Pimlico last time, drawing off to win by four and a half lengths. That puts her a rung above Ancient Peace (10-1), who has gone four balls without a strike at stakes level. She cuts back now to the shortest distance of her life and may find it hard to get to the lead, as she likes to do.

A four-streak in the minors leaves Simply Stated (10-1) with ground to make up as she returns to stakes level and stretches out for the first time, although she is on the crest of a wave and could improve further, while stakes debutante Nom De Plume (20-1) tries the main track for the first time and is in a tough spot.

Raven Run Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds from Jazzsports
Lily PooGerardo Corrales+2000
Simply StatedLuis Saez+1000
Nom de PlumeFlavien Prat+2000
VahvaJohn R. Velazquez+300
Apple PickerSheldon Russell+1500
Dazzling BlueFlorent Geroux+450
Alva StarrTyler Gaffalione+200
Lady RadlerJesus Lopez Castanon+500
Ancient PeaceRicardo Santana, Jr.+1000

The extra distance should not stop the freewheeling ALVA STARR, who was hugely impressive in a G2 last time and can make her speed tactics count.

Check out the recap: 2023 Raven Run Stakes: Vahva vanquishes them

Sign Up to get your daily horse rebate today! Check out the latest Breeders’ Cup Odds! Find horse racing odds for this weekend and pick your favorite.

Preview banner

Don’t forget to come back and check the weekend racing results and the latest horse racing news around the world.

Make sure to follow Horse Racing Tote on social media for the Raven Run Stakes & and more Breeders’ Cup Challenge Serie updates!