Patience pays off for Revenant One in Brickyard Stakes

The key word to the success of Revenant One is time. Owned by Jodi Mihalic of Ocala, Fla.’s Grassroots Training and Sales since he was a weanling, it took a few years to get Revenant One to where he is today, but it was worth the wait. The flashy grey gelding is now a stakes winner, taking the top prize in the 22nd running of the $100,000-added Brickyard Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Revenant One and Ty Kennedy stride out for the win in the $100,000 Brickyard Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Sept. 12. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post eight in the field of six, Revenant One showed great early speed from the outside and matched strides with Mr Manning and Rodney Prescott early on in the six furlong sprint. Jockey Ty Kennedy kept Revenant One in position on the outside before moving forward to secure the lead heading into the turn. Once he was on the lead, the five-year-old gelded son of Macho Uno opened up on the field, making it difficult for the rest of the field to catch him for the stretch drive.

Sara Distler (second from left) of the Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development, presents the trophy to owner Jodi Mihalic and trainer Mike Tomlinson. Ty Kennedy is also in the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

In the stretch, the opponents of Revenant One began to inch closer, but he was well on his way to victory, scoring the win by three-quarters of a length over Operation Stevie, who split horses late in the race to rally up for second with Emmanuel Esquivel aboard. Mr Manning came back in a gritty effort to finish third. The time of the sprint was 1:08.46.

“I was just hoping to get away from there and see what happened,” said Kennedy. “He took me up there without me asking, so I just left him alone and it worked out. He was happy, so I was happy.”

The favorite of the field, Revenant One paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.20 across the board. The Swifty Farms Inc. product now has five wins in six career starts, beginning his racing assignments last fall at the age of four.

“I originally picked him out as a weanling to pinhook,” said Mihalic. “But he sustained an injury at two and couldn’t go into the two-year-old sales and we rehabbed him for three years. I knew he was a nice horse and he was worth waiting on.”

Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing analyst at Indiana Grand, talks with Ty Kennedy following his win with Revenant One in the Brickyard Stakes. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Revenant One spent his rehab at Mihalic’s sprawling farm in Ocala with 150 other horses that she pinhooks. When it was time to get him into training, Mike Tomlinson picked up the assignment and began seeing what Mihalic saw all along.

“We raced him last fall and then gave him a break over the winter,” said Tomlinson, who is based at Churchill Downs where he has 50 head in his barn. “We brought him back this year for the Indiana races. We took care of him. He’s a nice horse and we don’t want to over race him, so we just pick our spots.”

Revenant One’s win in the Brickyard Stakes was his first start since late June. Kennedy had ridden him to two prior wins last year in Kentucky so he had some history with him moving into the race.

“Looking at him, he would look easy to ride, but he’s not the easiest horse to ride,” said Kennedy. “Sometimes he sees shadows that just aren’t there and it will trick you a little because you don’t think you have as much horse left as you really do. But he is such a nice horse and I’m fortunate to get to ride him. I thank Mr. Tomlinson and Ms. Mihalic for the opportunity.”

Mihalic has had a great month thus far. Her business, Grassroots Training and Sales was recently posted in Blood Horse as the third most successful buyer in the country in North American yearling stakes. She definitely has an eye for horses, and her stakes victory with Revenant One just solidified her talents.