The 3-year-old daughter of Karakontie put away frontrunning Positive Danger on the far turn, opened up a sizable midstretch lead, and comfortably withstood strong-finishing Pass the Plate by 2 3/4 lengths. Owned and bred by Susan and John Moore, Princess Grace ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44 for her first stakes win. Early fractions in the race were slow—:24.54, :49.68, and 1:13.84.
Typically run on turf, the Mrs. Revere was transferred to the main track because Churchill Downs’ turf course has not satisfactorily responded this fall. Turf racing at Churchill Downs is suspended through Nov. 22, and a determination on whether the track runs on turf over the final week of its meet that ends Nov. 29 will be announced later.
The track began moving its scheduled races off turf beginning Nov. 13, a day after 3-year-old Winning Impression broke down in a race on good turf. He was euthanized due to a broken sesamoid.
Because of the surface switch, the Mrs. Revere was downgraded from its advertised grade 2 level under American Graded Stakes Committee rules. The committee can review the race within five days and restore its prior grade, though that appears unlikely.
Following the scratch of Hendy Woods, the field went to post with just six runners, most with qualifications established at or below the grade 3 level. The race averaged more than 11 starters during the past decade.
Princess Grace, who finished a half-length behind Stunning Sky when second in last month’s Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (G3T) on turf at Keeneland, collected $122,760 and paid $7 to win. She has earned $205,260 from a record of 3-1 from four starts.
“She broke very alertly and was tracking nicely throughout the race,” said Florent Geroux, who also rode Lovely Bernadette to win the 2017 Mrs. Revere (G2T). “She’s a nice filly, and with winning on the dirt it gives the connections more options in the future, but I would guess (she) goes back to turf.”
“We didn’t necessarily have a great line how she would take to the dirt, but her early works were on the dirt,” winning trainer Mike Stidham said via telephone. “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.”
The Moores and Stidham were not at Churchill on Saturday, but Mike Owens, the farm manager at Cobra Farms, where Princess Grace was born and raised, was on hand to represent the Moores and collect the winning trophy.
“She is a very classy filly, very much so, just like her momma,” Owens said. “Hard-knocking, good-trying horse. Obviously, she’s 3-for-4 now and almost 4-for-4.”