Pachattack roared to the lead rounding the final turn and romped to her first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Arlington Matron (gr. III) May 28 at Arlington Park (VIDEO).
With substitute rider Florent Geroux replacing the injured Junior Alvarado, second choice Pachattack completed the 1 1/8-mile journey in 1:49.64 while winning by six lengths. Alvarado sustained a broken collarbone in a fall at Arlington a day earlier.
The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Pulpit mare has split time between Great Britain and North America since last summer and is part of English trainer Gerard Butler's six-horse string at Arlington this spring. A two-time listed stakes winner in Britain last season, she was coming off a fading ninth-place finish on turf in the Qatar Bloodstock Dahlia Stakes (Eng-III) at Newmarket May 1.
Michael V. Deegan owns the winner, who was bred by Dapple Broodmares 2004. The chestnut is out of the Red Ransom mare El Laoob.
Pachattack raced mid-pack near the inside as 37-1 shot Santina Dond showed the way from the rail while posting soft quarter-mile fractions of :24.60 and :49.09. Pachattack advanced on the leaders from between horses leaving the backstretch and was poised to challenge as the field entered the final turn. After getting the lead from Santina Dond and completing six furlongs in 1:13.01, she opened up at will in the lane under brisk handling and was never challenged.
“She did it (make the lead) on her own,” said Geroux. “I pushed her just a little bit because I didn’t want to get trapped behind horses that had absolutely no chance. I think I had the best (mare) in the race so I wanted to go faster. These horses from Europe can go all day.”
La Gran Bailadora, last for a half-mile, emerged from the pack in the stretch for jockey E.T. Baird to finish second by three-quarters of a length over Home's the Best and Eduardo Perez. Upperline, the 123-pound high weight who went off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine, finished a half-length farther back in fourth.
“I had a good trip,” said Robby Albarado, who rode Upperline. “I was sitting pretty, right where I wanted to be but at the half-mile pole, the winner came up along side of me and then I ran out of horse.”
Sixth in last year's Beverly D. (gr. IT), Pachattack's only prior North American win came in Woodbine's Maple Leaf Stakes on Polytrack in her final start of 2010 last November. She returned to action on Lingfield's all-weather track March 26 when she finished third against male rivals in the Sportingbet Supports Heros Winter Derby (Eng-III). Her career mark stands at 5-3-3 in 22 starts with earnings of $361,393.
“We knew when she was sitting mid-division and coming to the final turn that she had plenty in the tank,” said owner Deegan. “So we were quite confident, but you never know who might come after you in the homestretch. I think she’s definitely stronger (than she was last year) and more mature. The Beverly D. wasn’t her best race. But she’s come along and trained very well. Gerard and the team are doing a smashing job.”
The winner carried 116 pounds and paid $8.40, $5.60, and $4.40. Tracy Farmer's La Gran Bailadora, fifth in Keeneland's Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) April 22 for trainer Mike Maker, returned $9.60 and $6 and rounded out an $81.40 exacta. Home's the Best, seventh in last year's Arlington Matron, was $16.40 to show.
Upperline was followed by It's Tea Time, Milwaukee Appeal, Satans Quick Chick, Santina Dond and She's All In. Spring Party scratched.