Tagg returns to score again

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Barclay Tagg likes coming to Kentucky. The New York-based trainer enjoyed the greatest victory of his career when Funny Cide won the 2003 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and after saddling Bit of Whimsy to win the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup last month at Keeneland, horse and trainer were back for more Saturday in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs.

It wasn't as easy as in the QEII, when she won going away, but Bit of Whimsy still proved clearly best as the 8-5 favorite when taking a hard-fought triumph from the game Chicago invader, Ciao. Javier Castellano, who also rode her in the QEII, was back aboard Bit of Whimsy in the $174,900 Mrs. Revere, a 1 1/16-mile turf race restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

"She ran hard again," said Tagg. "She's had a terrific year. We'll give her a few weeks off before I take her to Gulfstream Park for her 4-year-old campaign."

Bit of Whimsy, owned by Joyce Young and Gerald McManis, returned $5.20 after finishing in 1:43.16 over a firm turf. She now has won 4 of 7 career starts, with the $101,933 winner's share lifting her career earnings to $551,533.

Tensas Yucatan set the pace, followed by Lisa M, Gotta Have Her, and Bel Air Beauty. Bit of Whimsy broke sharply before settling in mid-pack, and once the field turned for home and started to bunch together, she had clear sailing while racing several paths off the hedge. Ciao, a 15-1 shot under Kent Desormeaux, loomed a major threat to her outside, but Bit of Whimsy dug in to prevail by a half-length. Cat Charmer was third, another 1 1/2 lengths back, while Costume, the 4-1 second choice, was fourth in a field reduced to 11 by three early scratches.

"I had a beautiful trip," said Castellano. "The other filly was coming to me very strong, but my filly, she fought all the way to the finish."

Bel Air Beauty, winner of the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland in her previous start, faded to seventh under Mark Guidry.

Churchill Downs, 9th Race - November 10, 2007