Caramel Swirl wins Lexus Raven Run to give Godolphin unique Keeneland milestone

He’smyhoneybadger takes Perryville in stakes-record time

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Godolphin’s homebred Caramel Swirl prevailed by a head over Joy’s Rocket to win the 23rd running of the $250,000 Lexus Raven Run (G2) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday afternoon to give owner Godolphin its eighth Keeneland stakes victory to earn a Keeneland Tray as part of the track’s Milestone Trophy Program.

Earlier on the program, Steve Landers Racing’s He’smyhoneybadger held off a late charge from Ram by a head to take the 14th running of the $150,000 Perryville for 3-year-olds.

Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Caramel Swirl covered the 7 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:23.42. It is the first win in the race for both Mott and Alvarado.

Strong Silent, Cilla and Miss Speedy battled through early fractions of :22.66 and :45.89 as Joy’s Rocket rated just behind the leaders on the inside and Caramel Swirl raced in the clear in the next flight.

The three leaders continued their battle at the head of the stretch, where Joy’s Rocket and Caramel Swirl began to move as a team in the middle of the track. Cilla forged to the front by a length at the eighth pole but was overtaken approaching the sixteenth pole by Caramel Swirl and Joy’s Rocket, who dueled to the finish line.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Union Rags out of the Smart Strike mare Caramel Snap, Caramel Swirl posted her first stakes victory and improved her record to 9-3-3-1. Saturday’s $150,000 check boosted her bankroll to $317,300.

Caramel Swirl returned $8.60, $5.60 and $4.40. Joy’s Rocket, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $19.60 and $10.40 and finished 2 lengths ahead of Cilla, who paid $7.40 to show under Tyler Gaffalione.

It was another 4 lengths back to Shalimar Gardens, who was followed in order by Souper Sensational, favored Obligatory, Miss Speedy, Strong Silent, Minute Waltz, Someone Said So and Zainalarab.

Godolphin is the 22nd recipient of the Keeneland Tray, part of the track’s signature Milestone Trophy Program. The first Keeneland Tray was awarded to Hasty House Farm during the 1955 Spring Meet.

In the Perryville, He’smyhoneybadger rallied from seventh in the nine-horse field to collar favored Pipeline at the sixteenth pole and hold off Ram.

Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, He’smyhoneybadger covered the 7 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:23.75 to eclipse the stakes record for 7 furlongs of 1:24.38 established by Midnight Lute in 2006.

Boca Boy and Cool Quest dueled for the early lead through fractions of :22.16 and :44.97 with Pipeline tracking in third and He’smyhoneybadger running seventh.

In the stretch, Pipeline took over at the eighth pole but He’smyhoneybadger, who had swung four wide at the top of the stretch, found clear running to surge to the front at the sixteenth pole and then deny Ram’s final surge.

He’smyhoneybadger is a Kentucky-bred son of Daredevil out of the Majestic Warrior mare Majestic Miss. With his first stakes victory, He’smyhoneybadger added $90,000 to his bankroll to increase his earnings to $321,824 with a record of 10-4-3-1.

He’smyhoneybadger returned $14.60, $6.40 and $3.60. Ram, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, returned $16.60 and $6 and finished a neck in front of Pipeline who paid $3 to show under John Velazquez.

It was another 3¾ lengths back to Irish Unity in fourth with Pickin’ Time, Cool Quest, Runway Magic, Boca Boy and Soup and Sandwich following in order.

Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The feature is the $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares going 1½ miles on the turf. The Rood & Riddle Dowager is the seventh race with a 4:12 p.m. post time.

The Pick 6 carryover is $41,013.80.

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