Storm Flag Flying is the likely favorite heading into Sunday's $200,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park. On pedigree power alone, the Storm Cat-My Flag daughter looms large, and won her first race going away Aug. 18 at Saratoga.
First-out winner Fircroft is a big threat. Dismissed at 22-1, the daughter of A.P. Indy scored at Saratoga Aug. 12, launching a strong move on the turn. "I've liked her from the beginning," said trainer Rusty Arnold. "But we really thought she would need a few starts to get going. I was real happy when she kicked in."
Wild Snitch, winner of the Sorority (gr. III) at Monmouth, must be given a huge chance as the lone speed. She has won both her starts by open lengths and is the only graded stakes winner in the field.
All starters will carry 119. The field for the Matron, in post position order with trainers and jockeys:
1) Skipper's Mate (Edmond Gaudet, Abdiel Toribio)
2) Storm Flag Flying (Shug McGaughey, John Velzquez)
3) Shesasmokin (Bill Badgett Jr., Shaun Bridgmohan)
4) Fircroft (Rusty Arnold, Pat Day)
5) Runaway Chanel (Mary Hartman, Jorge Chavez)
6) Vasquez (John Veitch, Robbie Davis)
7) Wild Snitch (Ben Perkins Jr., Eibar Coa)