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Full Field Assembled for Grade III Arlington Matron
A talented group of a dozen members of the distaff set will assemble at Arlington Park Saturday for the 74th edition of the Arlington Matron. The Grade III $150,000 race for fillies and mares will be run at nine furlongs over Polytrack and share top billing on the Saturday card with the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup for older males.
Michael Tabor's Floating Heart invades from trainer Todd Pletcher's Kentucky division for Saturday's Matron after posting a fifth-place finish in the Grade III Bewitch Stakes on turf at Keeneland in her most recent trip to the post on April 22. The daughter of champion Giant's Causeway previously ran third in the Grade II La Canada and the Grade I Santa Margarita, both contested over Santa Anita Park's synthetic Pro-Ride surface, and was a winner in allowance company over Turfway Park's Polytrack last fall. Jesus Castanon has the mount.
Claiborne Farm's Haka has also been a consistent performer on synthetic surfaces. The 4-year-old Dynaformer miss won the Grade III Doubledogdare at Keeneland last out on April 16 and last year was graded stakes-placed in the Grade III Santa Ysabel and the Grade I Las Virgenes at Santa Anita. Trained by Christophe Clement, Haka will be ridden Saturday by Corey Nakatani.
Darley Stable's Tizaqueena comes into the Matron off a fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs in her last start. The locally-based daughter of Tiznow finished second in the Grade III Modesty Handicap and fourth in the Grade I Beverly D. over the Arlington park turf course last summer but has since scored in a pair of stakes at the Fair Grounds, capturing the $60,000 Allen LaCombe Memorial Handicap and the $100,000 Bayou Handicap at the Fair Grounds. E. T. Baird will ride the Mike Stidham-trained 5-year-old mare.
Trainer Donnie K Von Hemel will be represented by two Arlington stakes winners in this year's Matron lineup. The veteran conditioner will saddle defending champion Pin Oak Stables' Euphony and Robert Zoellner's Peach Brew, who captured last year's Grade III Arlington Oaks. Cliff Berry has the mount aboard Euphony while Quincy Hamilton is slated to pilot Peach Brew.
Completing the field for the Arlington Matron (with riders named) are: Rich Ege & Team Block's Askbut I Won'ttell (Eduardo Perez); Jessica Coudelaria's Celtic Princess (Aldo Canchano); Jerry Jamgotchian's Sweet and Flawless (Junior Alvarado); Nancy A. Vanier's Home's the Best (Lyndie Wade); Louise & G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Magical Theater (Michael Baze); and Bob Ackerman et al.'s Souper Miss (Tim Thornton).