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LOUISVILLE, KY – Princess Grace put away pacesetter Positive Danger around the far turn and opened a clear lead in the stretch to comfortably win Saturday’s 30th running of the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (G3) at Churchill Downs by 2 3/4 lengths over a closing Pass the Plate.
Owned and bred by Susan and John Moore, Princess Grace ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:44.00 to collect her first stakes win. Florent Geroux rode the winner for trainer Mike Stidham.
A traditional turf fixture, this year’s Mrs. Revere was transferred to the main track because Churchill Downs’ turf course has not satisfactorily responded to this fall’s climate. Because of the surface switch, the Grade 2 event was automatically downgraded to a Grade 3 by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Princess Grace, who finished a 1/2-length back of Stunning Sky in last month’s $150,000 Valley View (G3) on turf at Keeneland, banked the $122,760 first prize and rewarded her backers with $2 mutuels of $7, $3.40 and $3 as the 5/2 second betting choice in the field of six 3-year-old fillies.
Positive Danger carved out early fractions of :24.54 and :49.68 with Princess Grace in close pursuit. Midway around the far turn, Princess Grace took command and clocked 6 furlongs in 1:13.84. She opened up a 3-length lead in the stretch and was able to easily turn back a late rally from Pass the Plate.
“The pace unfolded exactly how I thought that the horse to my inside (Positive Danger) would go to the lead and we could sit just to her outside,” said Geroux, who also rode Lovely Bernadette to win the 2017 Mrs. Revere. “She broke very alertly and was tracking nicely throughout the race. She’s a nice filly and with winning on the dirt it gives the connections more options in the future but I would guess goes back to turf.”
Runner-up Pass the Plate, under Joe Talamo, paid $5 and $3.20. How Ironic, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.80 to show.
Stunning Sky, the 3/2 favorite, was fourth and was followed by Witez and Positive Danger. Hendy Woods was the lone late scratch.
The winner’s share of the purse pushed Princess Grace’s earnings to $205,260 from a record of 3-1-0 in 4 starts.
Princess Grace is a dark brown or bay daughter of Karakontie out of the Silent Name mare Masquerade, who was bred in Kentucky.
“You’re always concerned about a horse that didn’t race on dirt yet,” Stidham said. “She had pretty consistent works over the Tapeta surface at Fair Hill. We didn’t necessarily have a great line how she would take to the dirt, but her early works were on the dirt. We thought she handled it very well then, so we were cautiously optimistic. We knew that her dam, Masquerade, was game on both dirt and turf, so we felt good trying it. Down the backside, you saw Florent was in a great spot just off the leader. When he let out a notch, she just opened up impressively.”
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