Venetian Harbor Holds Off Finite For Munnings Exacta In Raven Run

Second behind Speech in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in July, Southern California-based Venetian Harbor returned to the Lexington, Ky., track to win Saturday’s G2, $200,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes for 3-year-old fillies in front-running fashion under Manny Franco.

Trained by Richard Baltas and owned by Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm and Domenic Savides, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Munnings held off a late charge from multiple graded stakes winner Finite – also by Munnings – to win by a neck, with Grand Cru Class third, Reagan’s Edge fourth and Tonalist‘s Shape fifth in the field of eight.

Off as the 3-2 favorite, Venetian Harbor paid $5.20 to win and covered seven furlongs in 1:23.02 on a fast track after setting fractions of :23.06, :46.17 and 1:10.34.

“I was a little bit concerned about the 2 horse (Four Graces), and when I saw she didn’t break (in front) I decided to go then,” said Franco. “She’s happy when she’s in the lead. She showed it today. She’s a nice filly.”

It was the third win in seven starts for Venetian Harbor, who was produced from the Street Cry mare Sounds of the City. She was bred by Richard Santulli’s Colts Neck Stables and purchased from the eighth session of the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $110,000, then bought back for $205,000 at the 2019 OBS Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training.

A winner around two turns earlier this year in the G2 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita, Venetian Harbor last raced Aug. 8 in the seven-furlong G1 Test Stakes at Saratoga, where she finished seven lengths behind Gamine.

Venetian Harbor is headed to the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, to be run at the same seven-furlong distance at Keeneland on Nov. 7. Sprinting is in her blood, as she traces back four generations in her female family to Hall of Fame runner Safely Kept, the 1989 champion sprinter and winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1990 against males.

Finite ran a good race to be second for Steve Asmussen under Ricardo Santana Jr. in her second start since undergoing surgery to remove an ankle chip this spring. A Winchell homebred daughter of Munnings, Finite is a two-time G2 winner who soundly defeated G1 Preakness winner Swiss Skydiver in the G2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds in February.

In the Raven Run, Finite raced in mid-pack while well off the rail as Venetian Harbor went unchallenged on the lead, then followed the winner into the stretch. She switched to the rail when Venetian Harbor drifted out slightly and was gaining on her in the final strides.

The post Venetian Harbor Holds Off Finite For Munnings Exacta In Raven Run appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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