Miss Pickums, With Ability Top Weighted in Arlington Matron

(From track report)
Jay Em Ess Stables' Miss Pickums and Edward P. Evans' With Ability will share starting highweight of 116 pounds Monday when a field of six distaffers heads postward in the 67th running of the $150,000 Arlington Matron (gr. III), the Labor Day feature at Arlington Park.

The Matron, run at 1 1/8 mile for fillies and mares, serves as the final local prep for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff gr. I), which will be contested at Arlington as part of the Breeders' Cup World
Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 26.

(The Matron will also be the middle leg of the America's Day Pick Three, a $1 wager that starts with the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes from River Downs and concludes with the $125,000 Solana Beach Handicap from Del Mar.)

A daughter of Afternoon Deelites, Miss Pickums carries a two-race Arlington win streak. In her last start, the 4-year-old bay filly rallied from off the pace to win the $50,000 Mariah's Storm Handicap at the Matron distance Aug. 11. Previously, the Paul McGee-trained miss tallied at a mile in conditioned allowance company.

Earlier this Miss Pickums captured the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes at Turfway Park. Ray Sibille has the mount.

With Ability returns to Chicago for the second time this year after capturing the $300,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Sportsman's Park in April, her first foray to the Windy City.

Following the Sixty Sails, the Mark Hennig pupil was sent to Churchill Downs, where she finished second to Spain after making the pace for nearly a mile in the Fleur De Lis Handicap (gr. II) in June. In her most recent trip to the post, the 4-year-old daughter of A. P. Indy faded to seventh in the Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. Robby Albarado has been named to handle the reins.

Slated to face the highweighted duo are: James Tafel LLC's Lakenheath; Cam Allard's Extend; Eugene Ford's Your Out; and My Jo Lee Stable's Curious Conundrum.

Your Out comes off a second-place finish in the $600,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. III), where she was beaten only a neck by Summer Colony, who went on to capture the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga in her next start. Prior to the Delaware Handicap, the H. Graham Motion-trained daughter of Allen's Prospect won a pair of stakes races at that Mid-Atlantic oval, the $55,000 Summer King and the $100,000 Obeah.

Lakenheath returns to her home base after finishing second to Minister's Baby in the $200,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park in her last start. Prior to that, the daughter of Colonial Affair trained by Gene Cilio was an easy 11-length winner in a third-level allowance race at Arlington. She also finished second to With Ability in Sportsman's Sixty Sails in the spring.

Shipping from Canada is Extend. The daughter of Unbridled's Song was a front-running winner in her last start, the $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine August 3. She also took the $125,000 Ontario Matron Handicap at Woodbine. In between those two races, she was fifth in the $300,000 Molly Pitcher Handicap (gr. II) at Monmouth. Extend is trained by Roger Attfield, who won this race in 1994 with Hey Hazel.

Completing the field for the Matron is Curious Conundrum. The Eugene Brajczewski Jr.-trained daughter of Harlan was second in the $60,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes on the Arlington Park turf course in her last start Aug. 16 She previously captured a third-level allowance race, also on the lawn, on July 19.

$150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III, F&M 3 & Up, 1 1/8 M)
PP Horse, Wgt. (Jockey)
1 Lakenheath (KY), 115 (Christopher A. Emigh)
2 With Ability (KY), 116 (Robby Albarado)
3 Miss Pickums (KY), 116 (Ray Sibille)
4 Curious Conundrum (KY), 111 (Carlos H. Marquez, Jr.)
5 Your Out (MD), 114 (Rene R. Douglas)
6 Extend (KY), 114 (Frank Lovato, Jr.)