Though her breeding wouldn't suggest it, Worstcasescenario has shown best-case sprinting ability, winning her two starts to date by a combined margin of 10 lengths, including an upset victory in Saratoga's Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) one month ago. Trainer Richard Violette hopes his unbeaten daughter of Forbidden Apple can do it again in the $250,000 Matron Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sept. 19.
Worstcasescenario, owned by Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables, figures to be favored in the Matron, a seven-furlong event that drew a field of nine 2-year-old fillies. Her 4 1/4-length tally in the Adirondack Aug. 19 at odds of 13-1 makes her the only graded stakes winner in the field. Worstcasescenario drew the far outside post for the Matron and will have Alan Garcia aboard for the third consecutive time.
Among those she will face is Dashing Debby, who set the pace in the Adirondack as the favorite before fading to fifth.
Bred in Florida, Worstcasescenario is out of the Halo mare Stacie's Halo. Forbidden Apple was a grade I winner on turf who earned more than $1.6 million. While turf routes figure to be in her future, what has surprised Violette the most is that the bay filly has been so quick out of the gate in her two starts.
"She broke like a rocket (in the Adirondack) and I was really holding my breath," Violette told Daily Racing Form. "Alan did a very wise thing and kind of just sat motionless hoping something would run by him to at least point at something. But I did think the fractions (:21.49, :44.32) were awfully fast."
Worstcasescenario completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.72 over a fast track. She broke her maiden in a six-furlong off-the-turf event at Belmont July 24, drawing clear in the final furlong for a 5 3/4-length win.
Stonestreet Stables' Dashing Debby was the one responsible for those sizzling splits in the Adirondack, and she paid the price by weakening as the 9-10 choice, beaten by more than seven lengths. Trainer Steve Asmussen sticks with jockey Robby Albarado, who will try to get the Medaglia d'Oro miss to ration her speed a little better.
“She drew much better for this race,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. “We don’t have to worry about the rail, and she’s been training unbelievably well.”
Dashing Debby ran away from the field in her debut, the J.J.’s Dream Stakes July 11 at Calder Race Course, to win by more than 10 lengths for former trainer Gerald Procino. She was sold to Stonestreet and transferred to Asmussen’s barn following that race.
Southern Truth, who comes out of 2 3/4-length win in the Small Wonder for trainer Jason Servis at Delaware Park Aug. 22, is the only other stakes winner in the field. A daughter of Yes It's True owned by Bill and Vicki Poston, Southern Truth has won two of four starts and has not been worse than third. Jose Lezcano rides her for the first time.
Babai Baby and Worship the Moon also come out of the Adirondack. Babai Baby, with trainer John Kimmel, was a troubled sixth. She broke her maiden at first asking in front-running fashion at Belmont July 19. Worship the Moon was also a first-out maiden winner July 31 at Monmouth Park for trainer Mark Shuman, then gained midly to finish fourth in the Adirondack.
Four fillies won maiden allowance heats at Saratoga in their most recent starts last month. Awesome Maria scored by 8 1/4 lengths in the slop for trainer Stanley Hough. Speightful Lady, from the Dale Romans barn, and Touching Beauty, for James Jerkens, both won their racing debuts. Heavenly Landing came from off the pace to register a three-length win in her third start for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
$250,000 Matron Stakes (gr. II, Race 9, 5:15 p.m.), 2-Year-Old Fillies, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Worship the Moon (FL), J Castellano, M Shuman
2. Southern Truth (KY), J Lezcano, J Servis
3. Touching Beauty (KY), E S Prado, J A Jerkens
4. Awesome Maria (KY), C H Velasquez, S M Hough
5. Heavenly Landing (KY), R A Dominguez, E Kenneally
6. Dashing Debby (KY), R Albarado, S M Asmussen
7. Babai Baby (KY), R Maragh, J C Kimmel
8. Speightful Lady (KY), K J Desormeaux, D L Romans
9. Worstcasescenario (FL), A Garcia, R A Violette, Jr.
Each carries 119 pounds.