December 3, 2023

Obligatory, Souper Sensational highlight 13 sophomore fillies in Raven Run

Obligatory wins the Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs (Photography by Jamie Newell / TwinSpires)

$250,000 Raven Run S. (G2) – Race 9 (5:16 p.m. ET)

Graded stakes winners Obligatory and Souper Sensational are among contenders in a competitive edition of Saturday’s $250,000 Raven Run S. (G2) at Keeneland. Thirteen three-year-old fillies will square off in the seven-furlong test.

Eight Belles S. (G2) winner Obligatory will cut back in distance following a commendable second in the Sept. 25 Cotillion S. (G1) at Parx. Bill Mott trains the gray daughter of Curlin, and Florent Geroux picks up the mount.

Victory Ride S. (G3) heroine Souper Sensational exits runner-up finishes in the Test S. (G1) and Prioress S. (G2). Ricardo Santana Jr. sticks with the Curlin filly for Mark Casse.

Prioress upsetter Cilla brings a three-race winning streak to the Raven Run, and Tyler Gaffalione rides the Louisiana-bred daughter of California Chrome for Brett Brinkman. Caramel Swirl, a sharp frontrunning allowance scorer at Saratoga two back, will try to rebound after a fourth as the odds-on choice in the Charles Town Oaks (G3).

Other runners include Shalimar Gardens, an Uncle Mo filly who will jump straight to stakes company for Horacio DePaz following an 11-length maiden romp at Belmont Park; multiple stakes queen Joy’s Rocket; Strong Silent, who makes her stakes debut for Dale Romans after back-to-back maiden and entry-level allowance wins at Ellis Park and Churchill Downs; last-out Saratoga allowance scorer Zainalarab, who tries stakes foes for Chad Brown; and Woodbine invader Miss Speedy, last seen taking the Duchess S. by open lengths for Mark Casse.

$150,000 Perryville S. – Race 7 (4:12 p.m. ET)

Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Soup and Sandwich, unraced since retreating to last in the Kentucky Derby (G1), will return to action in the $150,000 Perryville S. for three-year-olds at seven furlongs.

Bred in Florida by owner Live Oak Stud, Soup and Sandwich opened his racing career earlier this year with a pair of convincing wins at Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs. The gray Tapit colt wound up a clear second when making his stakes debut in the Florida Derby, and Soup and Sandwich contested the early pace in the Kentucky Derby before giving way.

Gaffalione will be back up for Mark Casse, and Soup and Sandwich will face eight rivals.

Grade 3 juvenile winner Pickin’ Time, a clear second behind the romping Jackie’s Warrior in the Sept. 25 Gallant Bob S. (G2) at Parx, merits respect for Kelly Breen. Corey Lanerie has the call on the New Jersey-bred Stay Thirsty colt.

He’smyhoneybadger, runner-up when making his stakes debut in the Sept. 25 Harrods Creek at Churchill, and impressive last-out maiden winners Cool Quest and Pipeline are also part of the mix.