Heavenly Sunday Takes Off-The-Turf Running of Mrs. Revere

November 24, 2023

Heavenly Sunday and Florent Geroux in front by five at the wire (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Heavenly Sunday, who made her first career start on dirt after eight previous starts on turf, rolled past pacesetter Callie’s Grit at the top of the stretch and widened her margin inside the final furlongs to win Friday’s 31st running of the off-the-turf $298,250 Mrs. Revere (Grade II) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs by five lengths over Beach Walkin.

Owned by William B. Harrigan’s Miacomet Farm, Heavenly Sunday ran 1 1/16 miles on a “fast” track in 1:44.69 to collect her second graded stakes win. Florent Geroux rode the winner for trainer Brad Cox.

The field was reduced from 12 entries to nine starters when turf racing was seized for the final three days of the Fall Meet after track officials were not satisfied with the turf course’s condition.

Heavenly Sunday banked the $178,800 first prize and rewarded her backers with $2 mutuels of $4.82, $3.76 and $3.08 as the 7-5 betting choice.

“She’s always worked well on the dirt so we thought she’d handle things just fine,” Cox said. “When she started her career we put her on grass and because she did so well we’ve always kept her on it. She was impressive today and can give her another option moving forward on dirt.”

Breaking from post No. 9, Heavenly Sunday raced just off the tail of pacesetter Callie’s Grit, who set fractions of :23.95, :48.81 and 1:13.32 during the early stages of the race. Heavenly Sunday pulled her way to the front leaving the final turn and drew away down the stretch while geared down late for the comfortable win.

Via @ChurchillDowns on Twitter

“We sat a great trip,” Geroux said. “She’s a pretty versatile filly with her running style. She worked like she would handle the dirt fine and did.”

Beach Walkin, at odds of 14-1 under Luan Machado, paid $12 and $7.24. Make the Boys Wink, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, was another 1 ¼ lengths back in third at 10-1 and paid $4.66 to show.

Callie’s Grit, Neecie Marie, Safeen, Sabalenka, Financial Advice (FR) and Cha Cha Tap completed the order of finish. Hay Stack, Bling and Watch This Birdie were scratched.

The winner’s share of the purse pushed Heavenly Sunday’s earnings to $708,683 from a record of 4-2-2 in nine starts. Prior to the Mrs. Revere, Heavenly Sunday did finished second to Surge Capacity in the $299,375 Valley View (GIII) at Keeneland on Oct. 27. Earlier this year, she won the $500,000 Edgewood presented by Forcht Bank (GII) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.

Heavenly Sunday is a dark bay or brown daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Alien Giant who was bred in Kentucky by Randal Family Trust.

The Mrs. Revere is named in honor of Mrs. Revere, an accomplished Churchill Downs fan favorite in the mid-1980s. Mrs. Revere won 12 races in 28 starts, finished second seven times and earned $429,545 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Her six wins in a dozen starts at Churchill Downs included stakes triumphs in the Regret, Dogwood and Edgewood in 1984 and the Kentucky Cardinal in 1985. She was owned by Dr. Hiram Polk and the late Dr. David Richardson, who have provided the winner’s trophy for the Mrs. Revere in each year of its existence.

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