Linda repels Harmonize, earns first stakes victory in Mrs. Revere

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 25th, 2016

Linda performed like a turf filly with a bright future in Friday’s $200,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill Downs, registering her first stakes victory with a 2 ½-length decision. Second when making her stakes bow in the October 21 Valley View (G3) at Keeneland, the 3-year-old dismissed a challenge from Grade 1 winner Harmonize to score going away under Brian Hernandez Jr.

Ian Wilkes trains the improving homebred daughter of Scat Daddy for Whitham Thoroughbreds and Linda, who has now captured three of her last four outings, increased her earnings to $277,010 from an 8-3-3-1 record. The gray lass broke her maiden when trying turf in her fifth career outing at Ellis Park in late July and followed with an allowance tally at Kentucky Downs in early September.

Off as the 4-1 third choice among 11 rivals, Linda settled about five lengths back in seventh as Caren showed the way on a short lead through opening splits of :24.26 and :48.61. She launched a bold rally on the far turn, advancing to be only 1 ¼ lengths back after three-quarters in 1:13.57, and accelerated to the front turning for home.

Harmonize was also rallying well from off the pace and drew even in upper stretch. The duo battled head-and-head briefly but Linda was going better along the inside and began to assert command in the final sixteenth of a mile, drawing clear with authority under the wire.

The winner completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.63 on the firm turf.

Harmonize easily held second as the 2-1 second choice, 5 ¼ lengths clear of Sweet Tapper, an 89-1 outsider who is also trained by Wilkes. It was another neck to Mo Knows in fourth. Hawksmoor, the slight 9-5 favorite, wound up sixth.

A Kentucky-bred, Linda is the first stakes winner out of the multiple Grade 2-winning Beautiful Noise, a daughter of 1983 Kentucky Derby winner Sunny’s Halo. The mare is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 heroine Listening.

Mrs. Revere Quotes:

IAN WILKES, trainer of LINDA (winner): “That was a hell of a performance because that was a nice Grade I-winning horse (Harmonize) that she had held off. Anytime you hold off a Grade I horse like that, and that’s our first stakes win with her, that’s a big performance. She was slow to develop as a baby and went through a few things but when she came to us she just blossomed and got better and better.”

Q: What made you decide to run her on the turf? “She wasn’t winning on the dirt. Horses in her family typically perform a lot better on the turf. Not sure what’s next. We’ll give her a little break, not a long one just a little break and I’ll talk to (owner) Mrs. (Janis) Whitham and make a plan for next win.”

BRIAN HERNANDEZ JR., jockey of LINDA (winner): “(Trainer) Ian (Wilkes) is having a great few days. The filly ran big for us today and everything’s going well. We had thought she would run that well but for her told hold off a challenge form Harmonize like she did. That was real impressive.”

KENNY McCARTHY, assistant to BILL MOTT, trainer of HARMONIZE (runner-up): “She made that big move around the turn and looked like she was going to get a big piece of it, but Ian’s (trainer Ian Wilkes) horse was just a little better than us today. She tries hard. I know he (Mott) was a little concerned about the cut in the ground – he said she really liked to hear her feet rattle. That was kind of what led us to take the wide path with her, just trying to find better ground. But I think she ran her race and Ian is just on fire this week.”

JUNIOR ALVARADO, jockey on HARMONIZE (runner-up): “I had a good trip. I was following that horse (Linda) and the (trainer Arnaud) Delacour horse (Hawksmoor). As it happened I was behind the 6 (Linda) the whole way around until a little before the five-sixteenths, and that’s when the 6 started picking it up. So I started moving forward at that point, too. I thought the only chance I had to beat her was to get the jump on her and get in front of her, and maybe she would get a little intimated. I did get in front of her, but she did not get intimidated at all and she came back and got me. Probably that having to move a little early cost me a little bit, too.  But she ran her race. She always shows up. She’s a very nice filly.”

CHRIS LANDEROS, jockey on SWEET TAPPER (stablemate of Linda, third): “She was training well going up to the race and Ian thought our whole point was to get a little ‘black type’ under her for later down the road. She was training well going into the race and I just tried to be patient with her, get her a little confident and kick for home. She really ran a great race.”

(Coady Photo)