Solo Survivor Skims Rail in Matron Handicap
Solo Survivor got the first graded stakes win of her career when she went from last to first to win the $150,000 Matron Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park Sept. 8.
Unhurried early, the 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap rated at the back of the six-horse field under jockey Mark Guidry as Ms. Lydonia and James Graham set the pace. Pressed by Coolwind under Eusebio Razo Jr., Ms. Lydonia set early fractions of :24.43 and :48.73, and looked as if she would wire the field as they turned for home. Solo Survivor, however, came through with a quick surge on the rail and Guidry sent her on to win by a length.
"I had a perfect trip," Guidry said. "I saved ground and got through on the inside and prevailed. Jimmy (Divito) did a great job with her."
Jockey James Graham said Ms. Lydonia turned in an excellent performance.
"She was great," he said. "She's got a heart twice as big as she is. She gave me 100%, and then some."
The favorite, Chris Block trainee Round Heels, raced fourth early on and got up to be a well-beaten third as the field crossed the wire.
Solo Survivor ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.94, returning $34.60, $12.20, and $4 to win. Ms. Lydonia paid $10 and $4 to place, while Round Heels returned $3 to show under Eduardo Perez.
Solo Survivor came into the Matron off a 1 1/16-mile claiming race over Arlington's Polytrack Aug. 22. Two races earlier, she won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race over the Arlington Park turf course as well. She now has six wins from 29 career starts and earnings of $234,195 for owner Richard Glantz and trainer James DiVito.
The Matron victory was a third consecutive and a fourth overall in the stake for jockey Mark Guidry, who won the 2006 and 2005 editions with Indy Groove and Sea Siren, and the 1997 running with Orni for trainer Bill Mott.
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