With the Breeder’s Cup Championships fast approaching, G1 races are scarce. So this week I found a race that offers a huge field and the chance for long odds. The G2 Lexus Raven Run at Keeneland is a 7 furlong dirt race for 3yr old fillies that has attracted a full field of 14 entrants.
Keeneland’s fall meet has developed into a speed festival. An early speed bias on their dirt track has become overly apparent which provides us with an opportunity to cash in on some nice prices that will benefit from the bias and avoid some short odds who have to fight against it.
Let’s examine Keeneland’s fall meet speed bias by utilizing some Brisnet data. According to Brisnet, 4 of 8 seven furlong races, 7 of 17 six furlong races, and 2 of 5 six and a half furlong races were won wire to wire. That’s a cumulative 13 for 30 which translates to a robust 43.3% for these 1-turn races. This type of strong bias will allow us to toss a handful of this week’s starters based solely on running style, which dwindles this field down to a more manageable level.
The morning line favorite is the 3-1 Moonshine Memories who will garner the services of Mike Smith in the irons. Don’t be fooled by her run from the back of the pack in her last. She likes to be up close and was squeezed and checked at the break. Moonshine Memories is one of four graded stake winners in this field, but her win was way back in the G1 Debutante , her 2nd career start in September 2017.
There are several other front runners who will impact the pace. Amy’s Challenge, Everyonelovesjimmy, Blamed, Alter Moon, and She’s Pretty Lucky are the main threats from the inside. This cavalry charge will keep the outside front runners from getting their desired trips, but nobody will be fast enough to break away for a clear lead. This sets the race up for a trip horse who will be close to the pace.
In a competitive field like this, I went looking for value and found it in the 12-1 morning line #4, True Royalty. I tossed her last effort on the turf where she broke poorly, went wide and showed little. Back on the dirt, she won a G2 at Del Mar and a couple of sprints, so I expect a return to form once she feels the dirt on her hooves. Her early speed figures are more than competitive and she should be able to ride the fast inside track to the winner’s circle.
Let’s take True Royalty for the win at 12-1.