Trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Jose Santos teamed up to win the $100,000 Vinery Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) with the 4-year-old filly Horatia Sunday at Monmouth Park. The Gerald Leigh homebred completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.52 over firm turf.
Champagne Royal battled with Enter for the early lead, and the former held on well to kick clear by two lengths with a furlong to run. Horatia began to close in on the leader at the top of the stretch and swept by in the final 1/16-mile. Camella closed well for second, one length behind the winner. Champagne Royal was a neck farther back in third, followed by Melody Queen, Enter, Doctoressa, Gimmeakissee, Ellakapella, Luminous Prize, Jeunesse Doree, and Red Royal.
The second choice in the wagering, Horatia returned $6.20 for the win. The winning exacta combination paid $44.20.
Horatia (Machiavellian--Ahead, by Shirley Heights) was bred in Ireland and raced in England until being transferred to Clement's barn after a third-place finish in the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) in November. After winning the $25,000 My Fair Lady in May, Horatia finished second in the $75,000 Rosenna in June. She earned $60,000 for the win, her fourth in 10 career starts and first in a graded stakes. (Chart, Equibase