Watts Humphrey Jr.’s
homebred Centre Court collected her third graded stakes win of the year with a
convincing two-length triumph over Leading Astray in Saturday’s 22nd running of the Grade II, $202,175 Mrs.
Revere at Churchill Downs.
Court, ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Rusty Arnold,
ran 1 1/16 miles over “firm” turf in 1:42.54. “That was fun,” Humphrey said.
“She comes with her race every time.”
Class was quickest from
the gate and led the field of 12 three-year-old fillies through fractions of
:24.39, :48.57 and 1:13.15 with Centre Court tracking in second while in the
clear down the backstretch. The eventual winner drew even with the leader
around the final turn and kicked home powerfully under slight urging from
rode her like she was the (3-2) favorite,” said Leparoux, who also rode Acoma
(2008) and Marketing Mix (2011) to Mrs. Revere victories. “She kicked on
very nice at the end and won pretty easy. When I asked her, she kicked away and
I knew that if someone could beat me at that point it would have been a very
Court paid $5, $3.20 and $2.60. Leading Astray, sent to post at 8-1 under Eddie
Perez, returned $6 and $4.80. Colonial Flag, with Joe Rocco Jr. up
at 10-1, was another three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up and paid
$6. Solid Appeal, Miz Ida, English Class, Somali Lemonade,
Peace Preserver, Regalo Mia, Volcat, Lateegra and Charged
Cotton completed the order of finish.
Court, who won the Lake George (Grade II) and Regret (GIII) this summer, banked
another $116,545, which pushed her career earnings to $476,012. It was her
fourth win from nine starts, and the Kentucky-bred daughter of Smart Strike,
out of the A.P. Indy mare Let, remained perfect in three outings over Churchill
Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course. She won the first race of her career on May 19
beneath the Twin Spires.
been there all year,” Arnold said. “She’s had eight starts on the turf and has
never been worse than second. I haven’t had one much more consistent. She just
hasn’t run a bad race on the grass. Sometimes you’ll have a bad trip or you’ll
get in trouble, but she’s just been there all year for us.
going to Palm Meadows (in south Florida), but she won’t run ’til April. We’ll
point her to the Jenny Wiley (at Keeneland).”
Mrs. Revere, which honors the four-time Churchill Downs stakes-winning mare
owned by Dr. Hiram Polk and Dr. David Richardson and trained by Bill
Mott, was one of two graded stakes events on Churchill Downs’ special
“Downs After Dark” program – the only nighttime racing event during it’s 21-day
Fall Meet. Earlier on the card, Claiborne Farm and Adele B.
Dilschneider’s homebred Lea prevailed in the ninth running of the
Grade III, $117,100 Commonwealth Turf.
on the night, a 70-year-old track record fell. The rarely-contested distance of
1 3/16 miles on dirt was clocked in 1:58.12 by Ron Winchell’s 3-year-old
Tritap, who carried 118 pounds. Shaun Bridgmohan rode the winner
for trainer Steve Asmussen. The previous track standard was 1:58.60 by
5-year-old gelding Bonnie Andrew, while toting 110 pounds, on Nov. 14,
at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:40
p.m. ET. Only six days remain at the 21-day Fall Meet. Closing Day is Sunday,
MRS. REVERE QUOTES
Watts Humphrey Jr., owner of Centre Court, winner: “That was fun. She comes with her race
every time. One of the first mares that I bought with my mother (Louise Ireland
Humphrey) when she decided she wanted to get involved was the dam (Let). My mom
was in New York working with the (Metropolitan) Opera and said she wanted to
get back into racing. We went out and bought three yearlings and one of them
was the dam of Centre Court.”
Arnold, trainer of Centre Court, winner: “She’s been there all year. Dayatthespa, you have to give
her the credit, she’s been the best probably. We took a big shot at her at
Keeneland, but couldn’t get by her. We beat Stephanie’s Kitten, twice, so I put
mine right below the top one. She’s had eight starts on the turf and has never
been worse than second. I haven’t had one much more consistent. She just hasn’t
run a bad race on the grass. Sometimes you’ll have a bad trip or you’ll get in
trouble, but she’s just been there all year for us.”
Q. What’s next? “She’s going to Palm Meadows, but she won’t run till April.
We’ll point her to the Jenny Wiley (at Keeneland).”
Leparoux, rider on Centre Court, winner: “I rode her like she was the (3-2) favorite. She ran a
big race at Keeneland with a slow pace and kicked on very nice at the end.
Today, she did the same thing. She kicked on very nice at the end and won
pretty easy. When I asked her, she kicked away and I knew that if someone could
beat me at that point it would have been a very good filly.”
Perez, rider on Leading Astray, runner-up: “I had a good trip and my horse tried pretty hard. No
excuses. She was just second best. I can’t complain.”
Rocco Jr., rider on Colonial Flag, third: “He (trainer Michael Matz) wanted to be a little closer
than last time, which we were able to do. I was tucked in, saved ground and
more or less followed the winner the whole way. I just tried to stay right
behind her. When (Centre Court) quickened, I asked my mare and she picked it
up. She dug in hard and I thought she was going to get second.”