What to watch for: Restless Rider returns in the Raven Run

October 15, 2019 10:12am

Only a few weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup, the domestic preps are done, but Ascot still has its British Champions Day to run, and Keeneland will host its Raven Run (G2) in marking the return of a filly who could begin setting herself up for a big 4-year-old campaign.

Here's what to watch for ahead of this weekend's post position draws...
Grade 2, $250,000
Raven Run

Rather than go on to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, multiple graded stakes winner
Royal Charlotte is resurfacing in this seven-furlong feature that also marks the comeback spot for Grade 1 winner Restless Rider.

A daughter of Distorted Humor, Restless Rider finished 12th in the Kentucky Oaks in her last start. But in seven starts prior to that, she didn't miss the exacta.

“She is doing super, and this is a good spot for her,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “She has had a rest since the Kentucky Oaks in May and she hasn’t sprinted in a while. She is doing good and we are hoping to have a good late season with her and maybe even next year."

Restless Rider shows eight published works since getting back on the tab in August, three of those at Keeneland, including a sharp five-furlong move Sunday in 1:00.20.

Highly regarded as a 2-year old, the Fern Circle Stable and Three Chimneys Farm runner will be racing at Keeneland for the first time since finishing second in the Ashland (G1) in April. A year ago, she won the Alcibiades (G1).

Chad Brown-trained Royal Charlotte, meanwhile, has won five of her six career starts with her lone defeat coming in the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 3. She avenged her loss when taking the Prioress (G2) later that month on the same track.

put in a bullet work at Keeneland last Friday in preparation for her first race at the Lexington, Ky., track. She was last seen finishing third in the Cotillion (G1) at Parx following her Monmouth Oaks (G3) victory over Jaywalk in August.

A full look at Raven Run followers via Keeneland:

Group 1 Champion Stakes

Trainer Aidan O’Brien is set to saddle a quarter of the runners in Ascot's 1 1/4-mile Champion Stakes (G1) on Saturday with familiar names such as 
Magical and Japan declared for the race. Those two most recently finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Oct. 6 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and could earn their way into the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The major concern is the course, with portions of Ascot waterlogged as of Tuesday and the outer course described as "heavy."

"Racing on the outer course on Saturday may yet be possible but we have the option to switch," said Chris Stickels, the course clerk, with an inner course also available.

Along with the Champion Stakes, Saturday's six-race card includes high-profile events such as the British Champions Sprint Stakes (G1), Fillies and Mares (G1) and Queen Elizabeth II (G1).

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
W. Haggas
1st, 2019 Rose of Lancaster Stakes (G3) 
 Regal Reality
S. Stoute
5th, 2019 Juddmonte International (G1) 
J. Gosden
1st, 2019 Prix Jean Romanet (G1) 
M. Hashida
4th, 2019 Irish Champion Stakes (G1) 
 I Can Fly
Fastnet Rock
A. O'Brien
5th, 2019 Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) 
A. O'Brien
5th, 2019 Prix De l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) 
 Fox Tal
Sea The Stars
A. Balding
1st, 2019 Conditions Stakes 
A. O'Brien
4th, 2019 Prix De l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) 
Sea The Moon
J. Fanshawe
3rd, 2019 Legacy Cup Stakes (G3) 
 UAE Jewel
R. Varian
4th, 2019 Joel Stakes (G2) 
A. O'Brien
8th, 2019 Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) 
J. Gosden
10th, 2019 Prix De l'Opera (G1) 

Elsewhere Saturday...
Laurel Park hosts the 24th Maryland Million Day program with seven stakes and four starter stakes worth $1.02 million. A total of 264 horses were pre-entered for an afternoon designed to showcase the state's racing history. Saratoga Bob was pre-entered to defend his win in the $150,000 Classic, at $150,000 the richest race of the afternoon.

Belmont Park, meanwhile, will host eight New York-bred stakes led by the $300,000 Empire Classic at 1 1/8 miles. The $250,000 Sleepy Hollow is another to watch, frequently producing 2-year-olds who go on to become well-known names.


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