(November 8, 2008) – Helen Alexander and Helen Groves’ Acoma overtook pace-setting My Baby Baby in the final 50 yards to win the 18th running of the $201,950 Mrs. Revere (GII) for 3-year-old fillies by 1 ¼ lengths on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Acoma, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Empire Maker out of the Danzig mare Aurora, covered the 1 1/16 miles on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:43.52. The victory, the fifth in eight career starts, was worth $117,696 and increased Acoma’s career earnings to $390,260.
Trained by David Carroll, Acoma remained undefeated in two turf starts and scored her second stakes victory at Churchill Downs. Acoma won the Grade III Dogwood on the main track in May.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Acoma bided her time in midpack early on as My Baby Baby, ridden by Robby Albarado, led the field through fractions of :24.04, :47.69 and 1:12.68 while being pressured by Golden Doc A.
Entering the far turn, Leparoux swung Acoma to the outside and began picking off horses. At the head of the stretch Acoma was six wide but in the clear with a clear shot at My Baby Baby, who had opened a daylight advantage by midstretch.
Sent off as the second choice in the field of 11, Acoma returned mutuels of $7.20, $4.20 and $3.40. My Baby Baby returned $9.20 and $5.40 in finishing a length ahead of Scolara and Kent Desormeaux, who paid $6 to show.
Completing the field in order were Absolutely Cindy, favored My Princess Jess, Seemingly, Clear Pond, Raw Silk, Sky Mom, Golden Doc A and Dark Sky.
Live racing at Churchill Downs resumes Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:40 p.m. ET. The featured ninth race at approximately 4:37 p.m. ET is the $100,000-added Commonwealth Turf (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles on turf. John A. Chandler’s Seaspeak, who crossed the wire first but was disqualified in the Bryan Station (GIII) at Keeneland in his last start, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the field of 11 three-year-olds.
POST-RACE QUOTES – THE MRS. REVERE
JULIEN LEPAROUX, jockey on ACOMA (Winner)
“She actually kicked very nicely in the stretch. Last time, she was more of a grinder; she just kept going but she never really kicked. She really kicked on nicely in the stretch. She’s going to improve on the turf. She won last time, but she didn’t know . . . she had a lot of questions to answer. Today she beat a good field and won very easy so I think she’s going to improve again and hopefully be better next year, too.”
DAVID CARROLL, trainer of ACOMA (Winner)
“It was just an awesome performance. This fall, she’s gone from strength to strength. From the [Grade III Valley View at Keeneland on Oct. 17], she gained weight and trained even better. I told Julien in the paddock to ride her with confidence and that he’d have more horse than he did at Keeneland, which he’d need today. We thought she was sitting on a big race. I was so happy for Helen and her mother; they are wonderful people to train for and it’s a privilege to train for people like that who let you do your thing. Good things happen.”
Q: As good as she is are you tempted to give her one more race like The Matriarch?
“She’s a filly that really does well where she’s stabled. When we got her back this summer, we may have rushed her in a couple of spots. Once we got her back to Kentucky and she was stabled at a place for a period of time, she got very comfortable. That’s when she told us it’s time to go. I don’t think she’s one you can just put her on a plane or one that ships. I’m hoping next year that maybe she’ll be more mature. But we think this is it for the year and we’ll look forward to next year.”
Q: Will you keep her on turf or synthetic surfaces next year or keep your options open for dirt as well?
“I think you have to have an open mind. It’s just a question as to how she’s doing herself. She’ll talk to you like they all do. When she’s ready to go whatever race is there she’ll go for. Obviously, we have a Grade II and a Grade III and the goal is a Grade I. That’s something we’ll have to work towards next year. The more races you can choose from the better. Julien said today that in all of her other races she’s had to grind the win out. Today she showed a kick. That tells me now that she’s coming into her own and getting stronger. Hopefully next year when she turns four, she’ll be more mature and show an even bigger kick. There’s were some really good fillies in this race today, some very accomplished fillies in this race today – and she handled them pretty easily.”
KEN McPEEK, trainer of MY BABY BABY (runner-up)
“She’s a lovely filly. She does everything right. We’re going to have some fun with her. I see her getting a lot better next year, too.”
Q: She looked like she had given them the slip at the head of the stretch…
“Her best race came over this course earlier in the year. She laid up close to the pace and I told Robby, ‘You’re in the one-hole and it looks like there’s only one other speed horse, so let her run.”
Q: Will she run again this year or will you put her up for the winter?
“There’s a chance a chance I might run her in a stake on the Polytrack at Turfway.”
ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey on MY BABY BABY (runner-up)
“She kicked-on nice. Kenny said don’t discourage her and take advantage of the one-post, and we did. We let her gallop along there in front in moderate fractions. When I squeezed her she went on, but it was a nice filly that beat her. I’ve been on her. I know how good she is.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, jockey on SCOLARA (runner-up)
“She gave me a lovely ride. She kicked it in, but the other ones were just too much. They were too fast for her, that’s all.”
EIBAR COA, jockey on MY PRINCESS JESS (fifth as the favorite)
“From the word ‘go’ we were kind of concerned about the post position. It took a lot out of her on the first turn, where she was five or six wide. I tried to save some ground, but I had to use her a little bit too much. I was in a good position, but again I knew that I used her a little bit in the beginning. Anyway, I thought she could finish a little bit better today, but for some reason she didn’t give me the run that she always has. She pulled up good and she’s okay, but she didn’t run her race today.”