Centre Court, the 3-2 favorite in the field of 11 3-year-old fillies,
took the lead at the top of the Matt Winn Turf Course stretch and never
surrendered her advantage, crossing the wire a length in front of
Colonial Flag in the 43rd running of the $114,200 Regret (GIII) on
Saturday night at Churchill Downs.
The Regret, which was named in honor of the first filly to win the
Kentucky Derby in 1915, was the second of four graded stakes races run
under the lights as part of Churchill Downs’ special “Downs After Dark
Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” nighttime racing
Centre Court, bred and owned by G. Watts Humphrey and Louise Ireland
Humphrey Revocable Trust 2008, broke well and then rated in third under
Javier Castellano behind pacesetter Zapper Belle and Singn On Themoon
through fractions of :23.75, :48.55 and 1:12.70. Castellano then began
to move with Centre Court and the filly had earned a slight lead as the
field turned for home. She was headed in the stretch by Colonial Flag,
but turned away that rival and proved best.
"I had a great trip. It was the dream trip; the one I was looking
for,” Castellano said. “I stalked behind the speed and it worked out
great. She is a very nice filly and has been progressing every time. I
like her and she's really honest. She put in a lot of effort today and
responded very well. She gave me a good kick at the end."
Treasured Up was another half-length back in third and was followed
in order by Left a Message, Silver Hustler, Dame Marie, Heart of
Destiny, Funny Proposition, Zapper Belle, Coup and Singn On Themoon.
A dark bay or brown daughter of Smart Strike out of the A.P. Indy
mare Let, who won the Churchill Downs Distaff (GII now known as the
Chilukki) in 1999, Centre Court covered the 1 1/8 miles on the firm
course in 1:48.25.
The Rusty Arnold-trained Centre Court improved her record to 2-2-0 in
five career starts and her bankroll now stands at $119,467 with her
winner’s check of $66,556.
“We will probably go to the American Oaks (GI at 1 ¼ miles on turf at
Hollywood Park on July 14), but there are a lot of options,” Arnold
said. “We’ll see how she comes back from this one.”
Centre Court returned $5, $3.40 and $3. Colonial Flag, ridden by
Julien Leparoux, returned $4.80 and $3.80 with Treasured Up, under Rosie
Napravnik, finishing third and returning $6.20 to show.
RUSTY ARNOLD, trainer of Centre Court, winner – “That was a very nice
win and we are really happy with her. That was a good group. She made a
good step up today. It's very big to get a graded stakes win with a
filly. It's very good for the whole family (from a breeding standpoint).
“It's nice to see this filly win here. I trained her mom to win a
graded stakes here. (Let) wasn't a Grade I winner, but she was very nice
and won some big races for us"
Q: Where do you go from here? - We will probably go to the American
Oaks, but there are a lot of options. There are some good races in New
York and the Virginia Oaks also is a nice race. We'll see how she comes
back from this one.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO, jockey on Centre Court, winner – “I had a great
trip. It was the dream trip; the one I was looking for. I stalked behind
the speed and it worked out great. She is a very nice filly and has
been progressing every time. I like her and she's really honest. She put
in a lot of effort today and responded very well. She gave me a good
kick at the end."
MICHAEL MATZ, trainer of Colonial Flag, runner-up – “He (jockey
Julien Leparoux) said she ran a little green when she came up alongside
her (Centre Court). I think they’re both two really good fillies and
I’m sure they’re going to meet again along the way. I think it was a
Q: Has it been a good week?
(Smiling broadly) “It’s been a great week, a great week!”
ROSIE NAPAVNIK, rider on Treasured Up, third – “She ran excellent.
(Trainer) Al (Stall Jr.) told me she was a really nice filly to ride and
he was right-on with that. She just placed herself and kicked on and
she was very honest.”
Q: It looked like anyone’s race at the head of the stretch …
“We got a great trip and she ran awesome, so you couldn’t ask for any more.”