Centre Court served up an ace at Churchill Downs in the $202,175 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) Nov. 17, fulfilling expectations as the 3-2 favorite and extending her record on the Louisville turf to a perfect 3-for-3 (VIDEO).
The sophomore daughter of Smart Strike carried top weight of 120 pounds against 11 others in the 1 1/16-mile turf event, but nevertheless dominated her competition when drawing away to win her third graded stakes of 2012 by two lengths. She completed the distance on the firm Matt Winn turf course in 1:42.54 under confident handling by jockey Julien Leparoux.
"I rode her like she was the (3-2) favorite," said Leparoux, who also rode Acoma and Marketing Mix to Mrs. Revere victories in 2008 and 2011. "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."
Coming off a pair of runner-up efforts in the Oct. 13 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland and the Aug. 19 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Rusty Arnold, Centre Court returned to the surface that saw her notch victories in the June 16 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) and in a May 19 maiden special weight. The bay filly also earned a victory in the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT) this summer at Saratoga forbreeder/ owner G. Watts Humphrey Jr.
"She's been there all year," Arnold said of his filly. "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.
"She's going to Palm Meadows but she won't run 'til April. We'll point her to the Jenny Wiley (at Keeneland)."