Uchenna and Alan Garcia take the Ontario Matron.

Uchenna and Alan Garcia take the Ontario Matron.

Michael Burns

Uchenna Closes to Ontario Matron Victory

Irish-bred filly lands first graded score for Attfield July 25 at Woodbine.

Triton Racing's Uchenna bided her time near the back of the pack and then pounced with a bold rail move July 25 to win the $160,200 Ontario Matron (Can-III) at Woodbine, taking her first graded stakes for trainer Roger Attfield.

Video: Ontario Matron S. (G3)

The 4-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock benefitted from a patient ground-saving ride by jockey Alan Garcia, who was content to rate inside off fractions of :24.55, :47.97, and 1:11.83 set by Skylander Girl. That 7-1 shot winged her way along on a 2 1/2-length lead, while pursued by Midnight Ballet, with a break of five lengths back to the rest of the six-horse field and Uchenna bringing up the rear trailed only by Copper Kitten.

As the field headed home through a 1:37.02 mile in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test, it appeared as though 4-5 favorite and 124-pound highweight Strut the Course would secure the victory with a charge from fourth, but Uchenna finished the best and got through for a three-quarter length victory in a final time of 1:43.74. 

"She was always travelling well," Attfield said. "I was very pleased with where she was sitting and how she was travelling. Going along the top, I knew she'd stay on and was quite confident she would run a real big race."

The winner returned $11, $4.10, and $2.80 carrying 117 pounds, while Strut the Course paid $2.40 and $2.10, with Skylander Girl holding third for $3.90. Checkered Past and Copper Kitten completed the order of finish. Sweater Weather was scratched.

Bred in Ireland by Knockany Stud out of the Acatenango mare Uriah, Uchenna first raced in England with nine outings for The Black Gold Partnership and was then purchased by Triton, for whom she has made four starts in North America. Along with her Ontario Matron score, she has a May 24 allowance victory at Woodbine. Her record now stands at four wins from 13 starts, good for earnings of $124,202.