River's Prayer Breezes Fast for Belmont Matron

(from Belmont Park notes)
California invader River's Prayer, a newcomer to Belmont Park, breezed a fast four furlongs in :46 4/5 Saturday morning in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.

"She's got a lot of natural speed, and it's just a matter of putting it where we need it in a race," said trainer Paula Capestro, who owns River's Prayer along with Bearing Point Stables.

After winning her first two races, the daughter of Devon Lane finished second in the Landaluce at Hollywood Park July 2. In the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Aug. 27, River's Prayer tried to come from off the pace for the first time. She rallied but flattened out late and finished third, beaten four lengths.

"We took her back on purpose in the Debutante," Capestro said. "We're trying to get her to stretch out, so we'd like to see her go in reasonable fractions early and finish."

Saturday's work was a little faster than Capestro would have liked but, "she was well within herself," according to the trainer.

The Del Mar Debutante was the filly's first start in 56 days.

"She had a lung infection after the Landaluce, and that cost us about three weeks of training," Capestro said. "She definitely needed that race in the Debutante."