Round Heels Ready to Dig In for Arlington Matron

Round Heels has only started once on a synthetic surface in 21 races. But a repeat of that effort, when the 6-year-old Irish-bred mare came up a neck short in the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track, would make her tough to beat in the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) Sept. 8.

Trained by Chris Block for owner Richard Duchossois, Round Heels, a 6-year-old daughter of Daggers Drawn, makes just her third appearance of the year in the 1 1/8-mile Matron. The Polytrack event drew a lightly accomplished field of six.

Round Heels led in the stretch run of last December's Bayakoa at odds of 39-1 but was caught late by the multiple graded stakes winner Foxysox and settled for second. Round Heels shows just one victory over the past two years, that coming in May when the chestnut returned from a layoff of nearly five months to win a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance at Arlington.

In her only start since, she gave way on the Arlington lawn after stalking the leaders three wide to finish eighth in the 1 1/8-mile Possibly Perfect Stakes. Round Heels has won seven of 21 starts lifetime with earnings of $220,049. Eduardo Perez will ride once again.

James Tafel's Coolwind, a winner of two of three starts since being switched to the Arlington Polytrack in May by trainer Greg Geier, is the 115-pound top weight. The 4-year-old Forest Wildcat filly has won a pair of optional allowance/claiming events at Arlington during the meet, the last coming at 7 1/2 furlongs July 27. The victories were sandwiched around a fifth-place showing in the Chicago Handicap (gr. III) at seven panels.

The 5-year-old Eyes On Eddy holds a class edge over this group but needs to turn around her poor recent form for trainer Steve Asmussen. Julien Leparoux rides her for the first time. Eyes on Eddy has eight wins in 28  starts and leads the field in earnings by far with $534,109. But the Touch Gold mare has been off the board in two graded events most recently, including a sixth in the Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) at Ellis Park Aug. 18.

Three others come into the Matron off victories over the Arlington Polytrack.

On Safari, a 4-year-old Lion Cavern filly, most recently won an optional allowance/claiming race at nine furlongs Aug. 25. Eugene Brajczewski Jr. trains On Safari, who had lost seven in a row before that.

Ms. Lydonia, trained by Christine Janks, also won an optional race Aug. 4 at 1 1/16 miles. That was the second win in 14 starts in the past two years for the 6-year-old Labeeb mare.

Solo Survivor, a 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap, tallied by nearly three lengths in a $50,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles Aug. 22. Solo Survival, trained by James DiVito, also won a race on the Arlington turf earlier in the meet.

$150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III, Race 6, 3:24 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ms. Lydonia (IL), 113, James Graham
2. Solo Survivor (KY), 112, Julien R. Leparoux
3. Coolwind (KY), 115, Eusebio Razo, Jr.
4. Round Heels (IRE), 113, Eduardo E. Perez
5. On Safari (KY), 112, Corey S. Nakatani
6. Eyes On Eddy (KY), 114, Robby Albarado

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