California trio head east for Raven Run Stakes

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Alastair Bull

October 19th, 2017

The Californian trio of Miss Sunset, Classy Tune, and Chalon head east to take on a good field of 3-year-old fillies headed by Tequilita in the seven-furlong Raven Run Stakes (G3) at Keeneland Oct. 21.

California-bred Miss Sunset, from the Jeff Bonde stable, heads east for the first time. To date she’s had 10 starts for six wins, including five stakes races, the most recent being the C.E.R.F. Stakes at Del Mar. This is her first run in graded stakes company, as it is for Classy Tune, who finished third in the C.E.R.F. Stakes in her first stakes race.

Chalon has enjoyed her previous trips east, winning the six-furlong Jersey Girl Stakes at Belmont Park by more than six lengths, finishing fourth in the seven-furlong Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, and a strong third in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland two weeks ago behind the highly talented Finley’sluckycharm. A repeat of her Keeneland effort would take her close here.

Just ahead of Chalon in third place in the Test Stakes was Tequilita. She’s become something of a seven furlongs specialist, with the Test Stakes her only defeat at the trip in four starts. Her victories at the trip include the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) and, a month ago, the Charles Town Oaks (G3).

Leading trainer Todd Pletcher will be well represented in the Raven Run by Nonna Mela. A winner of the Adirondack Stakes (G2) last year, Nonna Mela has run just twice this year, both at Saratoga. She won an allowance Aug. 7 before finishing second in the Prioress Stakes (G2) behind Vertical Oak.

Indiana Oaks (G3) winner Overture returns for another crack at Tequilita, having finished third in the Charles Town Oaks. Her best chance will come with a strongly-run race. The second-place finisher in the Charles Town Oaks, Yorkiepoo Princess, also deserves consideration, especially for multiples.

Pinch Hit cannot be ruled out either after finishing fourth in the Groupie Doll Stakes (G3) at Ellis Park prior to winning the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs Sept. 23.

Grade one winner Pretty City Dancer, Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes runner-up Happy Mesa, and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G3) fourth-place finisher Torrent complete the field.