Pletcher Duo Tops Matron Stakes
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Cherry Lodge wins her debut Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course

Gainesway Stable's Cherry Lodge and WinStar Farm's Spirituality were well supported in their respective stakes debuts following impressive maiden victories, but failed to reach the winner's circle in their second starts.

The Todd Pletcher-trained 2-year-old fillies, however, will hope to break through Oct. 16 in the $200,000 Matron Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park.

Cherry Lodge, a Bernardini   filly, went off as even-money favorite in the Sept. 3 Spinaway (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course but bobbled at the start and finished third—5 3/4 lengths behind dead-heat winners Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer. She was also favored in her debut Aug. 7 at Saratoga, where she won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event by a length.

Spirituality wasn't favored in the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes on the Arlington International Racecourse synthetic main track, but was well thought of as the 7-2 second choice in the 11-filly field and tired late to finish ninth. The daughter of Gemologist   shined in her debut at Delaware Park Aug. 6, when she won a six-furlong maiden special weight race by eight lengths.

Also entering off her first stakes run is Fly, a Phil Shoenthal-trained daughter of Brilliant Speed. Her first start on dirt follows a debut score on the Laurel Park grass Aug. 5, which came before a fourth-place run over the same course in the Selima Stakes Sept. 10.

Amapola is more than familiar with the Pletcher-trained runners entered in the Matron. Lael Stables' Bill Mott-trained daughter of Broken Vow   is still a maiden but has had her share of tough luck in three starts.

She crossed the wire first in her May debut at Gulfstream Park by 9 3/4 lengths, but was disqualified to sixth for drifting in and impeding another horse at the start of the 4 1/2-furlong race. Amapola then ran second to Cherry Lodge in her maiden-breaking win and a half-length second to next-out Frizette (gr. I) winner Yellow Agate in another maiden special weight event at Belmont Sept. 11.

Debut maiden claiming winner Arella Rockstar, who was claimed away from Ralph Nicks by Rudy Rodriguez, completes the field.

Matron S. (G3)

Belmont Park, Sunday, October 16, 2016, Race 4
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 2:34 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Fly (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJevian Toledo117Phil Schoenthal15/1
22Amapola (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateManuel Franco115William I. Mott8/5
33Arella Rockstar (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez117Rudy R. Rodriguez8/1
44Cherry Lodge (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez117Todd A. Pletcher6/5
55Spirituality (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.117Todd A. Pletcher5/1

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