Joe Ragsdale's Sarah Sis, off at odds of 17-1, charged past favored Bar of Gold to take the Grade 2, $250,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland Racecourse Saturday afternoon.
“I was a little bit surprised at the price, but it worked out good for the people who bet on her,” said winning jockey Florent Geroux.
Winless since a score in the G3 Iowa Oaks June 27, the Ingrid Mason trainee had finished off the board in two subsequent starts.
“She's run some brilliant races and has come from off the pace in the past,” Mason said. “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.”
Sarah Sis sat just off opening fractions of :23.23 and :46.37 set by Bar of Gold. The 3-year-old daughter of Sharp Humor took the lead in mid-stretch and pulled away, holding off late challenges to take the G2 events.
“Someone else wanted to go and was able to set very reasonable fractions,” Geroux said. “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 Grade 1 Kentucky) Oaks so we knew she could handle it here.”
Longshot I'm a Looker edged Bar of Gold for second. Final time for the seven furlongs was 1:22.96.
Sarah Sis, out of the Gilded Time mare Emerald Gal, was bred in Kentucky by Catherine Rene White DVM. She went through the auction ring twice: as a yearling, where she sold for $10,000 at the Keeneland September Sale in 2013, and as a 2-year-old, purchased for $20,000 at the 2014 OBS June Sale.
“I'm going to give her 30 days (off),” Mason said, when asked about what's next for Sarah Sis. “She can have a vacation. That was the plan. I'm sticking to it.”
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