Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Paris Bikini as the favorite in the Matron Stakes.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Paris Bikini as the favorite in the Matron Stakes.

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Paris Bikini Leads Matron Stakes Prospects

Bobby Flay's sharp debut winner is 2-1 early choice for trainer Todd Pletcher Oct. 5.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, regularly a dominant force in New York's 2-year-old landscape, sends out Paris Bikini as the favorite in the $200,000 Matron Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 5 at Belmont Park.

Owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Paris Bikini made her debut a winning one in a six-furlong heat Sept. 12 at Belmont. Despite a pedigree tilted more toward stamina than speed and odds that suggested she may not be one of Pletcher's better 2-year-olds, the Bernardini  filly broke on top and coasted to a 1 1/2-length victory.

"Paris Bikini ran well in her debut," said Pletcher. "She's had a good breeze here, and there are limited opportunities for 2-year-old winners, and this seemed like a logical next step."

Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez has the mount on Paris Bikini, 2-1, and the pair will break from post 3.

A 7 1/4-length winner of her debut, Darling Sky will go out for trainer Butch Reid and owners Swilcan Stable and James Bonner. The Sky Mesa  filly tested deeper waters in her second start, when she ran fourth in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) over a sloppy track at Saratoga Race Course.

Darling Sky, 3-1 on the morning line, will be ridden from the rail by Cornelio Velasquez.

The eight-horse Matron field will also include Paulassilverlining (7-2), a recent maiden winner for Michelle Nevin; Evrybdymstgetstonz (20-1), most recently second in the Lady Finger Stakes; and Skipalute (5-1), still a maiden after three starts.

Others are Desert Image (20-1), winner of a maiden claiming race for trainer George Weaver; Empressive Humor (8-1), who finished seventh in the Adirondack (gr. II) in her most recent outing; and Save Rock and Roll (12-1), fifth in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park in her last start.

Entries: Matron S. (G2)

Belmont Park, Sunday, October 05, 2014, Race 10

  • Grade II
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 5:35 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Darling Sky (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCornelio H. Velasquez117Robert E. Reid, Jr.-
22Paulassilverlining (KY)Jose L. Ortiz117Michelle Nevin-
33Paris Bikini (KY)John R. Velazquez117Todd A. Pletcher-
44Evrybdymstgetstonz (NY)Luis Saez117Gary C. Contessa-
55Skipalute (VA)Javier Castellano115Eddie Kenneally-
66Desert Image (KY)Junior Alvarado117George Weaver-
77Empressive Humor (KY)Ricardo Santana, Jr.117Steven M. Asmussen-
88Save Rock and Roll (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo117Joseph F. Orseno-