Although the least experienced of the six fillies in Saturday’s $200,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, Princess Grace proved an old pro. Not only did the 3-year-old capture her first stakes in what was only her fourth career outing, but also passed her first dirt test with flying colors after the 1 1/16-mile fixture was switched from the turf.
A tracking second behind longshot pace setter Positive Danger, Princess Grace began to apply more pressure to that rival midway down the backside. Taking the lead approaching the quarter pole, Princess Grace kicked clear under Florent Geroux and won by 2 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:44 over a fast track.
“I don’t think it’s her preferred surface, but she’s a very nice filly with a bright future, especially on the turf,” Geroux said.
Owned by Susan and John Moore and trained by Mike Stidham, Princess Grace returned $7. Pass the Plate rallied for second, finishing ahead of How Ironic, 3-2 favorite Stunning Sky, Witez, and Positive Danger.
Princess Grace debuted just three months ago, winning at first asking by more than five lengths over one mile of the Colonial Downs turf. Following up with another victory, in a one-mile turf allowance at Monmouth Park in early September, she then met defeat for the first time when second by a half-length to Stunning Sky in the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland on Oct. 16. Princess Grace has now earned $205,260.
“There’s more options for the connections. If they have to go back on the dirt at some point, I think she will. But I guess she would go back on the turf,” said Geroux regarding possible future plans for Princess Grace.
Bred by her owners in Kentucky, Princess Grace is by Karakontie and out of the stakes-placed Masquerade, a Silent Name half-sister to Grade 3 heroine Svea Dahl.
“We didn’t necessarily have a great line how she would take to the dirt but her early works were on the dirt,” Stidham said. “We thought she handled it very well then so we were cautiously optimistic. We knew that her dam, Masquerade, was game on both dirt and turf so we felt good trying it.”