Upperline Up in Time in Arlington Matron
Upperline became just the fourth horse to win both the Matron and the Arlington Oaks (gr. III), which she captured in 2010. The other fillies to accomplish the double were Mariah’s Storm, Sweetest Chant, and Megan’s Bluff.
Ridden by James Graham for trainer Michael Stidham, Upperline stalked Hooh Why and Sea Level Drive along the inside before angling out for the stretch drive and sweeping to the lead. Upperline, a 5-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon, is owned by Stone Farm, John Adger, Oakcrest Farm, and Stidham.
The versatile Upperline was coming off a 1 1/2-length win in the Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. III) at 12 furlongs on the Keeneland turf April 26. The bay mare was bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable and is out of the Caerleon mare Snowflake.
The 9-5 choice in a field of seven fillies and mares, Upperline completed the 1 1/8-mile trip in 1:51.73 over the Polytrack.
Upperline broke with the leaders and was settled forwardly as Hooh Why, who bumped with Ariana D at the start, wrested the early lead from Sea Level Drive and Upperline. She dictated a deliberate pace (:24.45, :48.70, 1:13.71) while maintaining a one-length lead into the stretch.
Francisco Torres asked Hooh Why for more in upper stretch and the Cloud Hopping mare responded to open a three-length advantage. Upperline kept coming, however, shifting out near the furlong marker and blowing home from there under right-handed urging from Graham. She drew off easily in the final stages.
Hooh Why held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Ariana D, who reached contention in upper stretch but settled for third under Willie Martinez. Hemera was fourth, followed by La Gran Bailadora, Sea Level Drive, and second choice Kathmanblu, who came up empty after a stalking trip.
Upperline improved her career record to 8-4-2 in 20 starts with earnings of $585,308. The Matron victory was worth $88,200.
Upperline shared the top weight assignment of 123 pounds with Hooh Why and paid $5.80, $3.80, and $2.60. Hooh Why, whose two-race winning streak came to an end, returned $5.40 and $3.40. The exacta was worth $28. Ariana D paid $3.80 to show.
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