Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) runner-up Daddys Lil Darling headlines a contentious field of 3-year-old fillies entered in Friday’s 27th running of the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The Mrs. Revere – the penultimate North American graded stakes race of the year for 3-year-old fillies on grass – attracted 11 entrants to be run 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course. The race is the precursor to the track’s traditional “Black Friday” feature, the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI). The 13th running of the $80,000-added Dream Supreme, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs, also will be run on the 12-race Clark undercard.
Friday’s first race is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) with the Mrs. Revere set as Race 9 at 4:27 p.m., the Dream Supreme as Race 10 at 5:27 p.m. and the Clark as Race 11 at 5:56 p.m. The final race of the day is scheduled for 6:24 p.m.
Nancy Polk’s Normandy Farm’s Daddys Lil Darling (13-3-5-0—$939,405) was beaten just 1 ¼ lengths in the Kentucky Oaks for trainer Kenny McPeek after she rallied from 14 lengths off the early pace under jockey Julien Leparoux.
Following the Kentucky Oaks, Daddys Lil Darling shipped to England to contest the June 2 Epsom Oaks (GI) but was scratched after jockey Olivier Peslier lost an iron and ultimately came out of the saddle when she was startled by a bolt of lightning and ran off.
The 3-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy returned to the United States and finished fourth in the July 8 Belmont Oaks (GI), defeated 2 ½ lengths by the Chad Brown-trainee New Money Honey. A subsequent fifth-place effort on the dirt in the Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) at Saratoga on July 23 followed the Belmont Oaks effort.
The Kentucky-bred filly returned to the turf at Kentucky Downs in the Dueling Grounds Oaks and recorded an emphatic 4 ¼-length victory as the heavy favorite. In her last start, Daddys Lil Darling was narrowly defeated by the Mark Casse-trainee La Coronel in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (GI) on Oct. 14 at Keeneland under jockey Robby Albarado.
Daddys Lil Darling drew post 9 for the Mrs. Revere with Albarado aboard.
Chief among Daddys Lil Darling’s rivals include the top-four finishers of Keeneland’s Oct. 20 Valley View Stakes (GIII): James Miller’s Lovely Bernadette, Sam-Son Farm’s Journey Home, Three Diamonds Farm’s I’m Betty G, and Agave Racing Stable’s Fault.
Trained by Jimmy DiVito, Lovely Bernadette (13-6-0-3—$390,613) defeated the field of 13 in the Valley View by 1 ½ lengths under jockey Florent Geroux. Before that, the 3-year-old daughter of Wilburn was victorious over I’m Betty G in the Indiana Grand Stakes on Sept. 6. Geroux has the return call on Lovely Bernadette and will break from post 4.
Journey Home (9-3-2-0—$187,997) will join stablemate Westit (GB) (12-1-3-3—$52,431) in the Mrs. Revere for trainer Graham Motion. Prior to the Valley View, Journey Home was narrowly defeated by Fault in the Aug. 12 Pucker Up Stakes (GIII) at Arlington Park. Irad Ortiz Jr. ships from his New-York base to ride Journey Home while fellow New York jockey John Velazquez has the call on Westit.
I’m Betty G (8-2-1-2—$128,915), trained by Mike Maker, figures to force the pace early on with Joel Rosario aboard. The 3-year-old filly by Into Mischief led wire-to-wire in the July 15 Pearl Nickel Stakes at Laurel Park. The Maryland-bred filly pressed the pace in the Indiana Grand Stakes but faded late to be beaten 2 ½ lengths by Lovely Bernadette. I’m Betty G drew post 10.
Fault (11-3-3-2—$190,095) will attempt to rebound from her fourth-place finish in the Valley View but will have to overcome a rail draw. A former $50,000 claim by trainer Michelle Lovell, the daughter of Blame previously finished third in the Sands Point (GII) at Belmont Park on Sept. 16 behind Uni and La Coronel. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. has the return call.
The race is named for Dr. David Richardson and Dr. Hiram Polk’s homebred Mrs. Revere, a mid-1980s star trained by Mott whose career record featured six wins at Churchill Downs. Four were stakes triumphs in the 1984 renewals of Churchill Downs’ Regret, Edgewood and Dogwood and the 1985 Kentucky Cardinal. Mrs. Revere won 12 of 28 races and $429,546 over three racing seasons. Her owners annually provide and present the Mrs. Revere winner’s trophy.
The complete Mrs. Revere field from the hedge out (with jockey): Fault (Hernandez); Marina’s Legacy (Jon Court); Westit (GB) (Velazquez); Lovely Bernadette (Geroux); Oh So Terrible (Channing Hill); Proud Reunion (Corey Lanerie); Tamit (IRE) (Leparoux); Journey Home (Ortiz); Daddys Lil Darling (Albarado); I’m Betty G (Rosario); and Sensitive (Ricardo Santana Jr.).
In the $80,000-added Dream Supreme Overnight Stakes, Brook T. Smith Investment’s West Virginia Secretary Stakes winner Ivy Bell hopes to rebound after she clipped heels as the heavy favorite in the Sept. 16 Open Mind Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Bet down to the 3-5 favorite in the Open Mind, Ivy Bell commenced a run along the inside on the final turn and drew close to pace setter and fellow Dream Supreme contender Mayla at the top the stretch. As the two crossed the quarter pole after a half-mile in :45.81, Mayla came in near the eighth pole and put Ivy Bell in tight along the rail as she clipped heels and dropped Hernandez. Both horse and jockey appeared fine after the incident. Ivy Bell was caught by an outrider and Hernandez walked back to the jockey’s room after a quick visit by EMTs.
The Dream Supreme field from the rail out: Southern Ring (Leparoux); Miss Kentucky (Ortiz); Kathballu (Albarado); Fiesta (Hill); Athena (Joe Rocco Jr.); Ivy Bell (Hernandez); Put Da Blame On Me (Rosario); Mayla (Lanerie); AuntJenn (Geroux); and Hailstorm Slew (Court).