Miss Matched Likely Sabin Choice Despite Layoff

Miss Matched could be the horse to beat in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares Saturday at Gulfstream Park in her first start since finishing third in the Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Downs on Sept. 30.

Shaun Brigmohan, rides the 4-year-old John Oxley-owned filly in the Sabin, which shares the spotlight at Gulfstream with the $100,000 Hurricane Bertie Handicap.

The 4-year-old daughter of Formal Gold, trained by John Ward, won the nine-furlong Arlington Oaks at Arlington Park in her previous start. Second in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga as a 2-year-old, Miss Matched won three straight early last season, including her only start at Gulfstream and the Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Marty Wolfson sent out Pampered Princess and Adobe Princess to finish second and third, respectively, behind Isola Piu Bella in last year's Sabin, and he holds a strong hand in Saturday's renewal with David Hutson's Mocita, Eddie Castro aboard, and M-2 Stable's Argentine-bred Potra Clasica, with Rene Douglas.

Mocita is a daughter of Boundary purchased privately by Wolfson for Hutson last summer. She hit peak form late in the season at Calder, winning the Stormy Frolic overnight stakes by seven lengths and the Stage Door Betty Handicap on Dec. 31.

Although making her stakes debut in the Sabin, Ken and Sarah Ramsey's 5-year-old mare Darling Daughter might be up to the task with jockey Mark Guidry aboard. Trained by Dale Romans, the daughter of Maria's Mon has won three of five career starts, including a one-mile allowance over the track on Jan. 20.

$100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III, Race 5, 2:49 p.m.), Fillies & Mares & Up, 1 1/8 miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Taittinger Rose (KY), 115, Edgar S. Prado
2. Leona's Knight (FL), 113, Eduardo O. Nunez
3. Miss Matched (KY), 118, Shaun Bridgmohan
4. Darling Daughter (KY), 112, Mark Guidry
5. Potra Clasica (ARG), 116, Rene R. Douglas
6. Mocita (KY), 119, Eddie Castro