|Contact: David Zenner
SOPHOMORE MEGANS BLUFF WINS ARLINGTON MATRON; FIRST FILLY TO WIN MATRON & ARLINGTON OAKS IN SAME YEAR
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. --- Megans Bluff, who earlier this season captured the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks, added Monday's Arlington Matron to her win ledger with a neck victory in the $150,000 race at the suburban Chicago racetrack.
A three-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff, Megans Bluff, who does her best running from off the pace, benefited from a speed duel between longshot Lines of Beauty and betting favorite Bella Chiarra. The embattled duo ran the first quarter of a mile in the mile and an eighth race in 23.52 seconds.
Megans Bluff made a three-wide move on the top pair on the backstretch, approaching the far turn, and took the lead at the half-mile, which was clocked in 47.08 seconds. She had a two-length advantage in the stretch but was all out to hold off the late challenge of On a Soapbox. The winner was timed in 1:51.41 over a track listed as fast despite intermittent drizzle throughout the day.
"She felt like a tank," Woods said. "She dragged me down the backside. John (trainer Hennig) said she was fit and she was."
"She's a very nice filly," said winning trainer John Hennig. "We weren't sure how she'd fit with older horses but she trained so well, I thought we had to take a shot. There was really nothing else for her. It was a giant leap of faith, but I think we'll go back against three-year-olds now, either in Pennsylvania or Indiana."
Tutorial, second longest price in the race at odds of 35-1, rallied to finish third. Golden Temper, Diamond White, Lines of Beauty, Bella Chiarra and Masada completed the order of finish.
Megans Bluff, second choice in the wagering, paid $9.60, $5.00 and $3.40. On a Soapbox paid $5.60 and $4.80. Tutorial paid $6.40.
The Arlington Matron was middle leg of America's Pick-3, a $1 bet that began with the Diana Handicap at Saratoga, won by Perfect Sting, and the Del Mar Handicap, captured by Northern Quest. The wager paid $36.80.
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