Centre Court comes home strong to win the Regret.<br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/AtTheRaces-1/at-the-races-2012/22274956_jFd5jM#!i=1909764484&k=VrmztXb">Order This Photo</a>

Centre Court comes home strong to win the Regret.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Centre Court Steps Up Game in Regret Stakes

Filly wins her stakes debut for trainer Rusty Arnold June 16 at Churchill Downs.

Centre Court made her stakes debut a winning one June 16 at Churchill Downs, taking the $114,200 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a length off a maiden win over the track May 19 (VIDEO) .

Sent off at odds of 3-2 in a field of 11 3-year-old turf fillies going 1 1/8 miles, the bay daughter of Smart Strike sat poised three-wide under jockey Javier Castellano behind longshot frontrunners Zapper Belle and Singn On Themoon through a first quarter in :23.75 and the half in :48.55. Swung clear down the center of the track after three-quarters in 1:12.70 and a mile in 1:36.29, she drifted out slightly while digging in gamely to repel a run from 7-2 choice Colonial Flag, half sister to 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Shared Account. Treasured Up completed the trifecta behind a final time of 1:48.25.

“I had a great trip,” Castellano said. “I stalked behind the speed and it worked out great. She is a very nice filly and has been progressing every time. She put in a lot of effort today and responded very well. She gave me a good kick at the end.”

A Kentucky homebred owned by the G. Watts Humphrey and Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust, Centre Court is out of the A.P. Indy mare Let, winner of the 1999 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (gr. IIT) and is a half sister to 2002 Japan Cup Dirt (Jp-I) winner Eagle Café.

“That was a very nice win and we are really happy with her,” trainer George “Rusty” Arnold said. “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.”

Centre Court returned $5, $3.40, and $3 while the $66,556 winner’s share of the purse more than doubled her earnings to $119,467. She has two victories and two runner-up finishes from five starts, her lone off-the-board effort coming with a fifth going 4 ½ furlongs on the dirt in her 2011 debut at Churchill last year.

She graduated in a nine-furlong maiden special weight May 19 by 4 1/2 lengths on firm turf.

Colonial Flag, ridden by Julien Leparoux, paid $4.80 and $3.80 while rounding out a $21.60 exacta. Treasured Up, with Rosie Napravnik aboard, was a half-length farther back in third and returned $6.20.

Left a Message ran fourth, followed by Silver Hustler, Dame Marie, Heart of Destiny, Funny Proposition, Zapper Belle, Coup, and Singn On Themoon.