03/26/2016 3:25PM

Lost Raven scores upset in Cicada Stakes

New York Racing Association photo
Lost Raven and jockey Manuel Franco win the Cicada Stakes by a neck Saturday.

On paper, it looked as though Constellation could not lose Saturday’s $125,000 Cicada Stakes. On the track, however, the 3-year-old Bellamy Road filly drifted out noticeably through the stretch and faded to last after chasing front-end winner Lost Raven.

Yet another reminder of why they run the races.

Lost Raven was cutting back to six furlongs after weakening late in both the Busanda and Busher stakes around two turns, and the daughter of Uncle Mo was able to jump out to the lead with Manuel Franco aboard through a moderate first quarter in 23.43 seconds, with Constellation stalking her after breaking alertly from the outside.

Lost Raven settled into the stretch with a clear lead after a half-mile in 46.81 seconds and held sway while drifting out to notch her second stakes victory for breeder and owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher.

Takrees rallied on the rail to edge Anydayismyday for second, as Constellation drifted out noticeably and faded to last among the four 3-year-old fillies.

“I knew the distance today is perfect for her, and I was really comfortable with her,” said Franco. “I don’t think she wants to go the long distances, and six furlongs is really good for her.”

Nearly $500,000 was bet to place on Constellation. As a result, Lost Raven paid $21.80 to win and $50.50 to place. Takrees paid $36 to place as the 5-1 second choice.

Lost Raven ran six furlongs in 1:12.08 in posting her second stakes victory, having also captured the Smart Halo at the same distance last fall at Laurel Park.

“Before the race, we were talking with Manny about how to get second,” said Repole, who indicated that Lost Raven would continue to focus on sprints going forward. “Todd and I learned our lesson; seven furlongs is probably her top distance.”