Trainer Larry Jones will try for his 2nd Matron victory in a row with On the Menu.

Trainer Larry Jones will try for his 2nd Matron victory in a row with On the Menu.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Jones Going For Matron Repeat

The trainer won the event in 2007 with Proud Spell.

A year ago, Larry Jones saddled Proud Spell to victory in the Matron Stakes (gr. II). The daughter of Proud Citizen has gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and become perhaps the top 3-year-old filly in the land.

Jones can only hope his entry in this year’s Matron, On the Menu, is destined for the same kind of success. On Sept. 13, she tries stakes company for the first time in the prestigious $250,000 event for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont. A field of nine has been entered in the seven-furlong dirt test.

“At this point, Proud Spell was already a stakes winner,” said Jones, who will also be bringing High Mesa and Friesan Fire to compete in the Futurity (gr. II), a 2-year-old race for the boys that takes place just prior to the Matron.

“They’re all pretty inexperienced, but they’re also high-quality horses, and we need to find out if they are Breeders’ Cup kinds of horses. We got a little later start than we wanted with them, and found ourselves all dressed up with no place to go, so we’re coming to Belmont.”

A Kentucky homebred of Brereton Jones, On the Menu won her maiden special weight debut Aug. 24 at Delaware Park, as she stalked the pace and took over at the top of the stretch before gutting out a half-length victory under Gabriel Saez. Her final time was 1:11.21 for six furlongs on a ‘fast’ track.

On the Menu is a daughter of Canadian Frontier--Don’t Trick Her, by Mazel Trick. Terry Thompson will ride for Jones and break from post 2.

The lone entry to have tried stakes competition is James Jerkens trainee Doremifasollatido. The Bernstein filly was a distant second to Mani Bhavan in the Adirondack (gr. II) Aug. 13 at Saratoga. That came five weeks after she broke her maiden at second asking at Belmont. Owned by Susan Moore and M and M Thoroughbreds, the New York-bred was a $110,000 purchase at the Keeneland September 2007 yearling sale. Eibar Coa rides once more and will break from the inside post.

Perhaps the most impressive maiden winner was Forestry filly Heavenly Vision. The Bob Baffert trainee scored by 4 1/4 lengths in her debut Aug. 24 at Saratoga The Kentucky-bred, who is out of the Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette, was offered at the Barretts March 2008 select 2-year-old sale, but was bought back for $340,000 by an ownership group led by George Bolton.

Also sharp in her debut was Leon Blusiewicz’s Miss Ocean City. Trained by Nick Zito, the Mineshaft  filly went gate-to-wire at Saratoga July 27 going six furlongs. She won by 3 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:11.64 on a track labeled ‘good.’

$250,000 Matron (gr. II, Race 8, 4:43 p.m.), Two-Year-Old Fillies, 7 Furlongs (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Doremifasollatido (NY), 119, Eibar Coa
2. On the Menu (KY), 119, Terry J. Thompson
3. Vegas Wedding (KY), 119, Michael J. Luzzi
4. Miss Ocean City (KY), 119, John R. Velazquez
5. Argyle Pink (KY), 119, Cornelio H. Velasquez
6. Heavenly Vision (KY), 119, Edgar S. Prado
7. Obsequious (KY), 119, Garrett K. Gomez
8. Persistently (KY), 119, Alan Garcia
9. Saintly Rose (FL), 119, Corey S. Nakatani