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Centre Court Steps to the Plate at Churchill

Centre Court ridden by Javier Castellano and trained by George Arnold, II take the G3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday June 16, 2012.
Glen Hill Farm’s Marketing Mix won last year’s Mrs. Revere (Grade II) after finishing second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (GI) at Keeneland and Centre Court will try to follow in her footsteps in Saturday night’s 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-old fillies.
 
“It worked out well last year,” trainer Rusty Arnold said. “We were very happy with her in the QEII (after finishing second to Dayatthespa). I wouldn’t have traded spots with anyone at the quarter pole.”
 
Centre Court scored her first graded-stakes victory in the Regret (GIII) at Churchill Downs in the spring. She followed up that victory with a win in Saratoga’s Lake George (GII). After finishing second to Stephanie’s Kitten in the Lake Placid (GII), Centre Court was given a break to prepare for her first try against Grade I company.
 
“We gave her two races at Saratoga and wanted to have her at 100-percent for the Queen Elizabeth,” Arnold said. “It’s a Grade I and at our home track. I think we had her as good as she could be for that race. She still has room for improvement. She’s only a 3-year-old.”
 
A dark bay or brown daughter of Smart Strike, Centre Court made her career debut at Churchill Downs and finished fifth in a maiden special on the main track. Since then, the G. Watts Humphrey Jr. homebred has remained on the turf and has yet to be worse than second on the grass in seven starts.
 
“The good ones like that are few and far between,” Arnold said. “You don’t find ones like her often that show that kind of consistency. She’s run well at Churchill, Gulfstream, Keeneland and Saratoga and really has never run a bad race. It’s a combination of talent and the will to do it.”
 
Arnold said the Mrs. Revere is far from an easy race for the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
 
“It’s an extremely competitive race,” Arnold said. “It’s the last chance to face 3-year-old fillies, so everyone with a good 3-year-old is going to take a shot. (Michael) Matz has two good fillies in the race (Somali Lemonade and Colonial Flag), Todd (Pletcher’s) filly (Peace Preserver) is improving and Chris Block’s filly (Leading Astray) hasn’t done anything wrong.”
 
The Mrs. Revere will be the final race of Centre Court’s 3-year-old campaign. She will be given the winter off and then be pointed to the Jenny Wiley (GI) at Keeneland in April. 
       
 

 

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