Keeneland’s unprecedented five-day Summer Meet opened Wednesday with Richard Ravin’s Maven winning the featured $80,000 Cherry Valley Purse for 3-year-olds.
The Summer Meet is accommodating a portion of the 16-day Spring Meet in April that Keeneland was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The season is being held without fans but with limited owners in attendance.
In the Cherry Valley, the eighth of nine races on Wednesday, Maven grabbed the lead shortly out of the gate and cruised to a 2¾-length victory over Johnny Unleashed. (Click here for a video of the race.)
Trained by breeder Wesley Ward and ridden by Gerardo Corrales, Maven covered the 5½ furlongs on a turf course labeled as good in 1:03.02. The victory was the first for Corrales at Keeneland.
A Kentucky-bred son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the Any Given Saturday mare Richies Party Girl, Maven was making his 2020 debut following a 2-year-old campaign that included two Group 3 starts in Europe, which featured a victory at Chantilly in France.
Maven paid $8.60, $5.60 and $3.80 for Wednesday’s victory. Johnny Unleashed, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $27.20 and $10.20 with Race Driver and Adam Beschizza finishing 1¾ lengths back in third and paying $3.60 to show.
The victory was worth $48,000 and increased Maven’s earnings to $143,488 with a record of 4-3-0-0.
Ward and Corrales also teamed to win the ninth race with Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred first-time starter Naughty Prince.
Racing continues Thursday with a nine-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Summer Meet runs through Sunday.