June 15, 2019

Arnold: Centre Court ‘still has room for improvement’

Last updated: 11/15/12 4:18 PM

Marketing Mix won last year’s Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs after
finishing second in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland,
and Centre Court will try to follow in her footsteps in Saturday night’s 1
1/16-mile event for three-year-old fillies.

“It worked out well last year,” said Rusty Arnold, who conditions Centre
Court. “We were very happy with her in the QEII (after finishing second to
Dayatthespa). I wouldn’t have traded spots with anyone at the quarter-pole.”

Centre Court scored her first graded victory in the Grade 3 Regret at
Churchill Downs in the spring and immediately up that victory with a win in
Saratoga’s Grade 2 Lake George. After finishing second in the Grade 2 Lake
Placid at the Spa, the dark bay lass was given a break to prepare for her first
try against Grade 1 company.

“We gave her two races at Saratoga and wanted to have her at 100 percent for
the Queen Elizabeth,” Arnold said. “It’s a Grade 1 and at our home track. I
think we had her as good as she could be for that race. She still has room for
improvement. She’s only a three-year-old.”

The daughter of Smart Strike made her career debut at Churchill Downs and
finished fifth in a maiden special on the main track. Since then, Centre Court
has remained on the turf and has yet to be worse than second on the grass in
seven starts.

“The good ones like that are few and far between,” Arnold said. “You don’t
find ones like her often that show that kind of consistency. She’s run well at
Churchill, Gulfstream, Keeneland and Saratoga and really has never run a bad
race. It’s a combination of talent and the will to do it.”

Arnold said the Mrs. Revere is far from an easy race for the G. Watts
Humphrey Jr. homebred, who is the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

“It’s an extremely competitive race,” Arnold admitted. “It’s the last chance
to face three-year-old fillies, so everyone with a good three-year-old is going
to take a shot. (Michael) Matz has two good fillies in the race (Somali Lemonade
and Colonial Flag), Todd (Pletcher’s) filly (Peace Preserver) is improving and
Chris Block’s filly (Leading Astray) hasn’t done anything wrong.”

The Mrs. Revere will be the final race of Centre Court’s sophomore campaign.
She will be given the winter off and then be pointed to the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley
at Keeneland in April.

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