Meadow Breeze Blows Away Matron at 34-1

Meadow Breeze Blows Away Matron at 34-1
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Meadow Breeze wins the Matron Stakes, Saturday at Belmont.
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(from Belmont Park report)
Willow Rock Stable's 2-year-old filly Meadow Breeze, making her graded stakes debut, came up with the biggest effort of her young career Saturday to win the 100th running of the $250,000 Matron (gr. I) at Belmont Park by a head at odds of 34-1.

Though drifting out in deep stretch, the 2-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Meadowlake kept coming for jockey Kent Desormeaux, overtaking the Todd Pletcher-trained tandem of Featherbed and Octave, who finished in a dead-heat in the seven-furlong test.

The chestnut filly, a $45,000 Fasig-Tipton July sale in July 2005, returned $70.50, $15.60, and $7.50. The victory, her third in six lifetime starts, was worth $150,000 and pushed her earnings to $214,369.

Prominent throughout on the outside after leading the six-horse field away from the gate, she pushed front-running Featherbed through fractions of :22.73, :45.93, and 1:11.28.

In the stretch, Featherbed ($3.60, $4.70) split horses for jockey John Velazquez as stablemate Octave ($3.20) and Garrett Gomez came up the rail. But Meadow Breeze, who was widest of all and kept drifting, dug in under Desormeaux to win in 1:24.82 on the fast track.

"I can't help but love her now," Desormeaux said. "The brilliant speed never materialized. I think (Velazquez) and Featherbed were quite comfortable down the backside. This filly out-gamed them the last quarter of a mile."

Meadow Breeze jumped up with a second-place finish in her last start, the off the turf P.G. Johnson at Saratoga Aug. 30.

"She's been a nice filly," said winning trainer Carl Deville. "I am really happy for the clients. I thought she would be lying a little bit off the pace. I didn't think she would be that close. She was a little bit too far out of it in her last race.

"This filly looks at everything around her. If she was finishing up down on the inside, that would have been the worst for her."

Bred by Stoneriggs Farm Inc. out of the Unaccounted For mare Unacloud, Meadow Breeze is under consideration for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

"We think she will stretch out," Deville said. "I don't know what our plans are."

Magical Ride, the 6-5 choice, who had shown speed in her two previous races was taken back and raced three-wide before fading to fifth.

"She did run down a little bit on her right hind," said trainer Rusty Arnold, who was hoping to nail a grade I victory at Belmont before he returns to Kentucky at the end of the month. "I am disappointed. I really, really thought she was going to run big. It was kind of a disaster. I'm going to have to go back and re-assess and start over."

Featherbed, who completed a $141 exacta, and Octave finished 8 1/4 lengths ahead of Cash's Girl in fourth. Magical Ride and Eternal Grace trailed.

"I could see (Meadow Breeze) was on the outside," Pletcher said. "I thought Featherbed ran a big race and the other filly (Octave) was closing well. It's just one of those deals. Two horses got beat two inches."

(Chart, Equibase)

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