11/06/2008 1:00AM

Acoma living up to her pedigree


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Royal bloodlines never insure success on the racetrack, but when a filly such as Acoma has two graded stakes wins from her first seven starts, it's difficult not to point to her pedigree as a major factor.

Acoma (pronounced AK-uh-muh, not a-CO-ma) is by Empire Maker from a sensational female family, and trainer David Carroll, who will saddle the 3-year-old filly as one of the favorites Saturday in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs, believes class has come to the fore.

"It's great to have it work out the way it has," Carroll said. "When they have that kind of pedigree, you never know, but in this case everything's come together real nice for us."

Acoma, bred and owned by the mother-daughter tandem of Helen Groves and Helen Alexander, is out of Aurora, whose produce includes Arch, a Grade 1 winner and now a successful sire. Aurora is out of Althea, the beaten 1984 Kentucky Derby favorite whose immediate family includes such notable names as Alyssum, Aquilegia, Twining, and Press Card.

Groves and Alexander hail from the King Ranch dynasty that raced Assault, the 1946 Triple Crown winner.

Acoma will be trying to close her 3-year-old season by winning a pair of graded turf stakes in as many attempts, having captured her turf debut last month in the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland.

"She's one of those fillies that can handle any surface," Carroll said. "Hopefully, she can finish the season off on a winning note. She'll go back to Middlebrook [Farm] after this, then come back to me in New Orleans in February."

Romans eyes stakes for BC runners

Both horses that trainer Dale Romans ran in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita are likely to make an appearance here later in the meet. Thorn Song, ninth in the BC Mile, is being pointed for a defense of his championship in the Grade 3 River City Handicap on Nov. 22, while C.S. Silk, seventh in the BC Juvenile Fillies, is likely for the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes on closing day, Nov. 29.

Romans reported that both horses came out of the Breeders' Cup in good shape. As for C.S. Silk, who set a rapid pace before fading, "she just ran too fast early," Romans said.

If C.S. Silk runs in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod, she likely will face the BC Juvenile Fillies runner-up, Dream Empress, as well as another Romans filly, Sara Louise, an impressive winner of the Pocahontas Stakes here last weekend.

Garcia having success with longshots

The parade of winning longshots that jockey Julio Garcia has booted home this fall has been hard to miss. From 28 mounts at Keeneland and Churchill, Garcia has won six times - all at sizable prices.

Garcia, 41, is a Puerto Rico native who has ridden off and on in the United States since 1983, winning nearly 1,200 races for mount earnings of more than $33.7 million. He has ridden primarily in Florida and California but gave Kentucky a try this fall when coming for the Kentucky Downs meet in September with trainer Wesley Ward.

Garcia said he likely will return to Florida or California when the Churchill fall meet ends Nov. 29. In the meantime, his winners keep lighting up the tote board. At Keeneland, he won the Fayette Stakes on Ball Four at a $44.40 mutuel and an allowance race aboard Jamaludin ($25). Through Wednesday at Churchill, his 4 winners from 16 mounts were Coal Baron ($52.20), Footlongkorn Dog ($18.60), Golden Country ($24), and The Mizzus ($47).

Longtime agent Terry Miller has been representing Garcia, who on Saturday will be at Calder to ride for Ward.

Rice looks to continue turf-sprint prowess

Of the three allowances on the Saturday undercard at Churchill, the richest - and perhaps most interesting - is the seventh race, a $56,000 turf sprint for fillies and mares. All things being equal, Ahvee's Destiny should draw particularly close attention, especially to East Coast fans familiar with the work of trainer Linda Rice in just such races.

From 208 starters in turf sprints during 2007-08, Rice has won 23 percent, or 48 races - remarkable numbers considering the relative size of her stable. By comparison, Steve Asmussen, who will send out Classify right alongside Ahvee's Destiny in the field of 10, has had just 159 turf-sprint starts (27 wins, 17 percent) during the same time frame - and Asmussen operates by far the biggest stable in North America.

Close finishes common in Mrs. Revere

When Bit of Whimsy won the Mrs. Revere last year by a half-length over Ciao, it marked the largest margin of victory in the race since Megans Bluff won the 2000 running by three-quarters of a length over Uncharted Haven.

Indeed, the Mrs. Revere has a history of tight finishes. From 2001-06, the respective win margins were neck, neck, neck, nose, nose, and neck.

Commonwealth Turf tops Sunday card

The male counterpart to the Mrs. Revere, the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf, closes out a five-day race week Sunday. Eleven 3-year-olds, headed by Cherokee Triangle and Seaspeak, have been entered in the $100,000 race.

This is the full lineup: Cherokee Triangle, Nistle's Crunch, Boss Lafitte, Mr Maccool, Jimmy Simms, Allsarott, Snoose Goose, Seaspeak, Veiled Prophet, Amazing Results, and Silver Mountain.

* Thirty-four fillies and mares have been nominated to the lone stakes here next weekend, the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap on Nov. 15. Among those considered likely for the 1 1/8-mile turf race are Ballymore Lady, Callwood Dancer, Sousaphone, and Kiss With a Twist.

* Souvenir hurricane glasses depicting Louisiana-born jockeys will be given away the next three Saturdays at Churchill. First up Saturday is Calvin Borel, followed by Robby Albarado on Nov. 15, and Kent Desormeaux on Nov. 22.

* Unlike in prior years, racing will be conducted here Tuesday because of the Veterans Day holiday.