Saturday’s $200,000, Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs features a group of seven fillies, all 3-year-olds. In the similar Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes at Keeneland last month, Stunning Sky defeated Princess Grace by a half-length, with How Ironic another half-length back in third and with Witez 2 ½ lengths further back in fourth. There’s no telling if some of those positions may be reversed in the Mrs. Revere, as well as if one of the new faces may prevail.
One of those is Hendy Woods, entering the race off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Dixiana and prior to that a second in the Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes Presented by Forcht Bank over the Churchill Downs turf course. Pass the Plate won about one month ago, but on dirt in a race scheduled for turf initially. Her best finish at this level was a runner-up effort in the Bourbonette Oaks in March. Positive Danger is a lightly raced filly trying stakes company for the first time and having won the only two times she’s run over a mile on turf in her career.
Hendy Woods started her career winning two in a row, both turf routes, in January and March before finishing seventh in the Regret Stakes in June on the Churchill Downs sod. Rebounding with a win in the Indiana Grand Stakes with a career-best 100 Equibase Speed Figure, Hendy Woods then closed for second in the similar Edgewood Stakes on this turf course, improving just a bit to a 101 figure. Trying some of the best 3-year-old turf fillies in the country in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes last month – an invitation-only race – Hendy Woods finished sixth of seven but nevertheless was beaten by just 3 ¼ lengths at the end. That effort resulted in a new career-best 107 figure which is tied for the best in the field with the figure Stunning Sky earned winning the Valley View Stakes six days later. Getting the ground saving rail and with red-hot Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle for the first time, as well as noting Queen Elizabeth winner Harvey’s Lil Goil ran very well when third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf last weekend, Hendy Woods could be tough to beat in this year’s Mrs. Revere Stakes.
Positive Danger is a live longshot in my opinion because she’s going to be in front from the start, perhaps with no challengers. A perfect two-for-two in turf routes, Positive Danger earned a career-best 87 figure for her most recent win, in a first-level allowance race last month. However, a 3-year-old taking a step up from the allowance ranks to run well in stakes is not unheard of. For example, Princess Grace won at the first allowance level two races back in September, and then improved to nearly post the upset in the Valley View when coming up a half-length short of Stunning Sky. With an inside post to help ease her way to the front from the opening bell, Positive Danger has the potential to get a very easy lead, get brave, and perhaps hang on for the upset win.
Stunning Sky and Princess Grace finished first and second, respectively, in the similar Valley View Stakes last month at Keeneland, both earning 107 figures. Stunning Sky has now run 11 times, winning three, while Princess Grace has only run three times, winning twice and finishing second in the other. Stunning Sky closed from ninth in the Valley View but that was a function of the very fast pace which saw her further back early than in her previous three starts when she was no more than fifth at any stage. Princess Grace rallied from fifth in the Valley View to make the lead with an eighth of a mile to go, before the more seasoned Stunning Sky ran her down in the final yards. Both fillies have a will to win and the ability to back that up and it would be no surprise if both are in the thick of the action at the end of this race.
The rest of the field, with their best Equibase Speed Figures, is How Ironic (106), Pass the Plate (103) and Witez (102).
Win Contenders, in preference order: