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McLaughlin Has Two Shots at Lexus Raven Run Victory

October 21, 2016

LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 21) Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has won six of his nine Keeneland stakes with horses owned by Shadwell Stable.

In Saturday’s seven-furlong Lexus Raven Run (G2), McLaughlin will send out Takrees for Shadwell and California import Coniah for owner-breeders Tammy and James McKenney.

“They contacted us and wanted to try this side of the country and run in the Prioress (G2) and that is how it happened,” said Steven Hampson, the assistant to McLaughlin who is overseeing the trainer’s Keeneland string. “We got her two weeks before the race.”

Grade 3-placed in her most recent California start, Coniah finished sixth in the Prioress on Sept. 4 at Saratoga behind Lucy N Ethel, whom she will meet again Saturday in the Lexus Raven Run.

“That was a tough race,” Hampson said of the six-furlong sprint. “She broke sharp but (jockey) Irad (Ortiz Jr.) saw he couldn’t keep up and he dropped back to make one run. But the winner (Lucy N Ethel) was so impressive that day, and her race was probably better than it looks on paper.”

Coniah came back 3½ weeks later with a wire-to-wire allowance win at 6½ furlongs on Sept. 29.

Takrees finished third in the Prioress, closing from far off the pace. The Lexus Raven Run will be her first start since the Prioress.

“Both of those fillies are very pleasant to be around,” Hampson said. “Takrees is a filly who will appreciate some pace and there should be some in there.”