Trainer Kenny McPeek now has Grade 1 aspirations for Princess Warrior, who pulled off an 11-1 upset of Saturday’s $200,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill Downs.
After the daughter of Midshipman posted a one-length win over Get Explicit in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, McPeek said he hoped Princess Warrior could secure an invitation to the $300,000 American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita on December 29, a race McPeek won last year with Daddy’s Lil Darling.
In the Mrs. Revere, contested on yielding ground, Princess Warrior was no more than 4 3/4 lengths at any call. Gradually improving position from seventh under Brian Hernandez, she made a solid rally into contention on the far turn, reached the lead inside the furlong and held off a rally from Get Explicit. Princess Warrior covered the course in 1:47.61.
There was a two-length gap back to pace-setter Cool Beans, who finished three parts of a length ahead of longshot Kabella. Stella di Camelot, the 1-2 favorite, was compromised by a bump at the start and weakened to fifth late when unable to get past Cool Beans.
This was the first stakes win for Princess Warrior, who is owned by Evan Trommer, Matthew Trommer, and Andrew Trommer. She previously placed in the Alcibiades (G1), Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), Pucker Up (G3) and Dueling Grounds Oaks, and was most recently fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). Her record now stands at 14-3-3-2, $410,741.
Bred in Kentucky by George Veloudis Jr., Princess Warrior was a $60,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic two-year-old purchase. She’s a daughter of Sessa, by Consolidator, and is from the family of champion and noted sire Unbridled.
In the $200,000 Comely (G3) at Aqueduct, 6-5 favorite Blamed shook off an early challenge from Alberobello on the far turn, opened up a big lead in mid-stretch, and then held off a rally from Remedy to notch her first graded stakes win by three quarters of a length under Julien Leparoux.
Owned by Cleber Massey and trained by Bill Mott, Blamed paid $4.40 after completing 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:51.98. Remedy was 10 lengths clear of Indy Union in the eight-filly field.
“She broke fast. We could have slowed down a little bit, but she was very comfortable and she did it very nicely,” Leparoux said. “She was doing easy the whole way, and when I asked her, she really kicked in very nice for me. I think we had a little bit more left in the tank at the wire, so that’s nice.”
Blamed has now won six of eight starts and $401,260. Originally trained by Joel Marr and based in New Mexico, Blamed captured three stakes at Sunland Park last winter, including the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.
In her debut for Mott, in the October 20 Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland, Blamed finished second to Shamrock Rose, subsequently the upset winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).
Bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm, Blamed is by Blame and out of the stakes-placed Giant’s Causeway mare Salsa Star. Blamed’s fifth dam was 1971 champion juvenile filly Numbered Account.