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La Tia, Moment in Dixie Top Arlington Matron

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/21/2014 #
  • La Tia, shown winning the 2012 Arlington Oaks, is one to beat in Matron. (Four Footed Fotos)

Hernandez Racing Club’s La Tia and Phillips Racing Partnership’s  Moment in Dixie top a field of eight distaffers entered in Saturday’s Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron at a mile and an eighth over the main track.  Tha Matron shares top billing on the 11-race card with the Grade III $150,000 Hanshin Cup at a mile on the main track and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Classic – the first leg of the Mid-America Triple – for 3-year-old turf horses.

The Armando De La Cerda-trained La Tia has an affinity for the Arlington International Racecourse Polytrack.  As a 3-year-old, the daughter of City Place won the Grade III Arlington Oaks over the same distance as Saturday’s Matron and she also won the one-mile Purple Violet over the course that same summer.  The 5-year-old mare returned from a six-month layoff to run second in a tough allowance race over a mile and a sixteenth here May 11.  E. T. Baird picks up the mount on La Tia Saturday.

Moment in Dixie, a James Toner-trained daughter of Dixieland Band, was runner-up in the Grade III Doubledogdare at Keeneland last time out.  The 5-year-old mare has been competitive at this level and will be ridden Saturday by Julien Leparoux.

Among those slated to face the top two is Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Awesome Flower.  The 5-year-old daughter of Flower Alley was a five-time winner last year including a pair of $100,000 stakes races – the Lady Canterbury on dirt and the Listed HBPA on Presque Isle’s synthetic surface. Florent Geroux will ride the Mike Maker-trained mare.

G. Watt Humphrey’s Frivolous has had some success on Polytrack, winning an allowance race at Keeneland last time out and finishing second in last year’s Arlington Oaks.  Trained by Victoria Oliver, the 4-year-old Empire Maker filly will be ridden by James Graham.

Completing the field for the Matron (with jockey listed) are: Lothenbach Stables’ Ambusher (Leandro Goncalves); James Greene and Hurstland Farms’ Heart of Destiny (Rosemary Homeister Jr.); The Farm on 4 LLC, Brent Gasaway and Michael Stidham’s I Dazzle (Sheldon Russell); and E. A. Cox Jr.’s Naples Gold (Channing Hill).