(Four Graces / Coady Photography & Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
When last seen at Keeneland, Whitham Thoroughbreds’ homebred Four Graces showed her hooves to four rivals in the July 10 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select in track-record time.
She will be back in action here Saturday when she faces nine rivals in the 22nd running of the $200,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) going 7 furlongs on the main track.
In the Beaumont, run over the Beard Course of 7 furlongs and 184 feet, Four Graces went to the front from post two and never trailed in posting a 4¾-length victory in 1:24.90 to break a five-year-old track record.
She will break from post two Saturday under Julien Leparoux, who has been aboard Four Graces for all four of her victories.
“She has been inside before,” trainer Ian Wilkes said. “I can’t change it.”
In her most recent start, Four Graces was hooked early in a speed duel and wound up finishing second in the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4.
“She came out of that race well and this (the Lexus Raven Run) was the next logical spot,” said Wilkes, who plans to bring Four Graces to Keeneland from Churchill a day or two before the race.
Four Graces has had four works since the Eight Belles, the last a bullet five-eighths in :59.20.
“That was a good work,” Wilkes said. “She finished strong and galloped out strong.”
Any thoughts of a possible run in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) going 7 furlongs here on Nov. 7 are on the back burner.
“Let’s get through this one first,” Wilkes said.