Already a winner of two graded stakes wins this season, Curlin's Approval will try for a third against an expected dozen other fillies and mares in the $100,000 Matron Stakes (G3) May 20 at Churchill Downs.
The Matron will offer Bridlewood Farm and Alter's Racing Stable's Curlin's Approval a change of scenery after the 4-year-old Curlin filly opened 2017 with three starts at Gulfstream Park, where she earned clear victories as the odds-on favorite in the Hurricane Bertie (G3) and Royal Delta (G2) stakes, before finishing fifth in the Inside Information Stakes (G2) March 18 as the 3-5 favorite.
The Matron itself also will see a change of scenery this year. While this is the 80th edition of the race, it will be the first time it's been held at Churchill. The Matron was previously run at Churchill-owned Arlington International Racecourse.
Trained by Marty Wolfson, Curlin's Approval will start in the 1 1/16-mile Matron off a nine-week rest. She won her only previous start at the distance, this year's Royal Delta, which is her lone two-turn race in nine career starts.
The Matron will mark the 4-year-old debut of grade 1 winner Weep No More, who strung together a three-race win streak last season capped by an upset victory in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. The fast-closing daughter of Mineshaft didn't show the same kick in her next three starts, all grade 1 races, and trainer Rusty Arnold rested her after her fourth-place finish in the Alabama Stakes (G1) Aug. 20 at Saratoga Race Course.
Ashbrook Farm's Weep No More has worked four times at Keeneland since April 25. She earned the bullet among 13 workers when she breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 May 9.
The only other horse at single-digit morning-line odds is The Elkstone Group's Indiana-bred Lady Fog Horn, who won the Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill in November and enters off a third-place finish in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) April 21 at Keeneland.
Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 20, 2017, Race 10
- 1 1/16m
- 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
- 5:21 PM (local)
|1||1Weep No More (KY)||Joseph Rocco, Jr.||122||George R. Arnold, II||4/1|
|2||2Shes a True Beauty (KY)||Shaun Bridgmohan||122||Dallas Stewart||20/1|
|3||3Lots o' Lex (KY)||Jesus Lopez Castanon||122||Gerald Russel Aschinger||30/1|
|4||4Tiger Moth (KY)||Gabriel Saez||122||Brad H. Cox||10/1|
|5||5Lady Fog Horn (IN)||Albin Jimenez||122||Anthony J. Granitz||8/1|
|6||6Belle Hill (KY)||Chris Landeros||122||Grant T. Forster||15/1|
|7||7Curlin's Approval (KY)||Edgard J. Zayas||126||Martin D. Wolfson||8/5|
|8||8Divine Elegance (KY)||Miguel Mena||122||Randy Matthews||12/1|
|9||9Naylor (KY)||Malcolm Franklin||122||Patrick Huffman||20/1|
|10||10Improv (KY)||James Graham||122||George R. Arnold, II||10/1|
|11||11Walkabout (KY)||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||122||Ian R. Wilkes||10/1|
|12||12Miss Mo Kelly (KY)||David Romero Flores||122||Kellyn Gorder||20/1|
|13||13Crooked Stick (KY)||Sophie Doyle||122||Ben Colebrook||20/1|