Mattina takes Illinois Breeders' Debutante
Mattina closed from the outside to win the Illinois Breeders' Debutante by a neck. Longshot Genteel Lady did the same and led briefly, but couldn't hold off the winner. Promisary was third, and beaten favorite Falasha faded to fifth.
"She stumbled at the start. I didn't ask her to go," explained Falasha's rider Zoe Cadman. "I thought I'd just sit still and see where she ends up. She got to the lead with no problem. She seemed to cruise all the way to the quarter pole, but then I ran out of horse. She was awfully tired for some reason. She didn't even want to gallop back. She's exhausted. We didn't really want to be close to the rail around the turn but we were pinned down there. Other than that we don't have an excuse."
"This time we had better racing luck (referring to Mr. Volare stumbling out of the gate last week)," said Chris Emigh aboard Mattina. "This time we had the outside and it's been playing good all day. We kept real wide. This is a really nice horse. The last time out she didn't like the slop. Today the track is wet but it seems like we got a better grip.
"She got a little lazy heading into the stretch. I had to ride her a little bit. Then down the lane she was looking around at the lights. I didn't think I was going to catch Genteel Lady. It looked like they had us beat. But she just kept coming."
"Heading into the first turn, we got in kind of tight and I heard some yelling behind me as my horse slightly clipped heels," said Mike James, Genteel Lady's jockey. "That cost us a little to get settled down again, but she settled down in the backside. I felt like I had enough horse left for her to go at any time, and when I asked her, she just took off."
"But being a two-year-old, she got a bit caught up with seeing the grandstand and lights turning for home and got a bit erratic, but she still battled on. She did the same thing in her race two back. But she's a very sound filly and could turn out to be a nice horse."
The comparisons of Mattina to Mister Volare continued. "Actually, she's Mister Volare's half sister," said assistant trainer Brian Williamson. "Plus, she's Ritzy Playboy's half sister. They both won their divisions when they were 2-year-old colts. She had the blood. She's by a different stud, Seattle Morn, but I thought we had a big shot. I didn't know if we could beat the favorite but I thought we could be second. She didn't really handle the track in her last going six furlongs but it worked out a little better today. She'll probably head for the farm after this and rest up for next year."
The win was Emigh's third for the day, giving him 51 for the meet. He leads the jockey standings over Zoe Cadman with 44, and Larry Sterling with 42.
With the win, Harvey Vanier takes back third place in the trainer standings. He also had three wins for the day, bringing him to 20 for the meet. Michael Reavis has 21, and Hugh Robertson continues to lead with 23.
Today was the first day of the new $250,000 guaranteed Pick 9. The consolation payoff of $281.60 went to those who picked five winners.
Equibase charts for Hawthorne
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