Curlin's Approval will start in the 1 1/16-mile Matron Stakes off a nine-week rest

Curlin's Approval will start in the 1 1/16-mile Matron Stakes off a nine-week rest

Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin

Curlin's Approval Favored in Relocated Matron Stakes

Field of 13 fillies and mares includes grade 1 winner Weep No More.

Already a winner of two graded stakes wins this season, Curlin's Approval will try for a third against an expected dozen other fillies and mares in the $100,000 Matron Stakes (G3) May 20 at Churchill Downs.

The Matron will offer Bridlewood Farm and Alter's Racing Stable's Curlin's Approval a change of scenery after the 4-year-old Curlin  filly opened 2017 with three starts at Gulfstream Park, where she earned clear victories as the odds-on favorite in the Hurricane Bertie (G3) and Royal Delta (G2) stakes, before finishing fifth in the Inside Information Stakes (G2) March 18 as the 3-5 favorite.

The Matron itself also will see a change of scenery this year. While this is the 80th edition of the race, it will be the first time it's been held at Churchill. The Matron was previously run at Churchill-owned Arlington International Racecourse.

Trained by Marty Wolfson, Curlin's Approval will start in the 1 1/16-mile Matron off a nine-week rest. She won her only previous start at the distance, this year's Royal Delta, which is her lone two-turn race in nine career starts.

The Matron will mark the 4-year-old debut of grade 1 winner Weep No More, who strung together a three-race win streak last season capped by an upset victory in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. The fast-closing daughter of Mineshaft  didn't show the same kick in her next three starts, all grade 1 races, and trainer Rusty Arnold rested her after her fourth-place finish in the Alabama Stakes (G1) Aug. 20 at Saratoga Race Course.

Ashbrook Farm's Weep No More has worked four times at Keeneland since April 25. She earned the bullet among 13 workers when she breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 May 9.

The only other horse at single-digit morning-line odds is The Elkstone Group's Indiana-bred Lady Fog Horn, who won the Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill in November and enters off a third-place finish in the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) April 21 at Keeneland.

Entries: Matron S. (G3)

Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 20, 2017, Race 10

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:21 PM (local)
11Weep No More (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoseph Rocco, Jr.122George R. Arnold, II4/1
22Shes a True Beauty (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateShaun Bridgmohan122Dallas Stewart20/1
33Lots o' Lex (KY)Jesus Lopez Castanon122Gerald Russel Aschinger30/1
44Tiger Moth (KY)Gabriel Saez122Brad H. Cox10/1
55Lady Fog Horn (IN)Albin Jimenez122Anthony J. Granitz8/1
66Belle Hill (KY)Chris Landeros122Grant T. Forster15/1
77Curlin's Approval (KY)Edgard J. Zayas126Martin D. Wolfson8/5
88Divine Elegance (KY)Miguel Mena122Randy Matthews12/1
99Naylor (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMalcolm Franklin122Patrick Huffman20/1
1010Improv (KY)James Graham122George R. Arnold, II10/1
1111Walkabout (KY)Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.122Ian R. Wilkes10/1
1212Miss Mo Kelly (KY)David Romero Flores122Kellyn Gorder20/1
1313Crooked Stick (KY)Sophie Doyle122Ben Colebrook20/1