Sarah Sis upsets Raven Run
It was the first win for the Sharp Humor filly since she recorded back-to-back scores in the Iowa Oaks (G3) and Panthers S. at Prairie Meadows over the summer.
Bar of Gold attempted to lead all the way, setting fractions of :23.23, :46.37 and 1:10.42 while chased by a three-wide Sarah Sis on the backstretch and into the lane. The latter filly dug deep under jockey Florent Geroux and managed to draw even inside the furlong marker.
From there, Sarah Sis inched away to be a half-length clear in a final time of 1:22.96 for seven furlongs over Keeneland’s fast main track. The Joe Ragsdale colorbearer paid $36 to her faithful backers.
Bar of Gold barely held second, keeping her nose in front of 42-1 longshot I’m a Looker on the line. It was just a neck back to 26-1 second longshot Kathballu in fourth. The 8-2-11-9 superfecta, even with Bar of Gold in second, returned $20,243 for a $2 wager.
Sarah Sis doesn’t usually go off at such long odds, but was exiting a well-beaten last of six in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) as the 3-2 favorite. Prior to that she was 17-1 in the Ballerina S. (G1), but reputed herself well with a fourth-place finish.
The Ingrid Mason trainee was vanned off from the Kentucky Oaks (G1) earlier in the season, and earned a shot in that contest when taking the Honeybee S. (G3) and just missing in the Martha Washington S. and Dixie Belle S., all at Oaklawn Park.
Sarah Sis photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography
RAVEN RUN QUOTES
Ingrid Mason (winning trainer of Sarah Sis): “She’s run some brilliant races and has come from off the pace in the past. We all knew she had it, and that’s why I hire jockeys to make that decision out of the gate: If she was going on her own easy, then go on with it. If not, sit on her. She obviously can come from off the pace.”
On what’s next for Sarah Sis: “I’m going to give her 30 days (off). She can have a vacation. That was the plan. I’m sticking to it.”
Florent Geroux (winning jockey of Sarah Sis): “Someone else wanted to go and was able to set very reasonable fractions. I was able to sit (off the pace) and my filly was very relaxed where she was. Down the stretch when I asked her, she gave everything she’s got. She was very brave. She did the rest.
“She was spinning her wheels a little bit at the quarter pole, but when she found her stride she was going away. That’s a very nice, very talented filly. She won a race last year here at Keeneland, an allowance race, and she beat Lovely Maria, who ended up winning the (2015 Kentucky) Oaks so we knew she could handle it here.
“I was a little bit surprised at the price, but it worked out good for the people who bet on her.”
Jose Lezcano (rider of runner-up and beaten favorite Bar of Gold): “My filly broke very sharp. She was kind of keen the whole way. (We went) a little faster (than we wanted), just keen the whole way. It doesn’t take a lot (to get beat), you know?”
Jon Court (rider of third-place finisher I’m a Looker): “She was making a big run to the wire – I was excited. She was great to ride. She has a lot of class. I was riding her with confidence. I thought down the stretch that we might get it all. I was really believing she would get there. She ran big.”
Julien Leparoux (rider of fourth-place finisher Kathballu): “We had a good trip. She was laying right next to the winner and in the lane we came up next to her but we couldn’t go by her. (Kathballu) ran good though; we have no excuse.”