Dufresne Out To Make Amends In Saturday’s Matron

Commonwealth New Era Racing’s Dufresne will look to make amends following a lackluster effort in her stakes debut when stepping into graded company in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Matron, a six-furlong inner turf sprint for juvenile fillies at Belmont Park.

Trained by Michael Trombetta, the Uncaptured bay traveled wide throughout in the Woodbine Cares and appeared to hang coming out of the turn before gaining momentum in the final sixteenth, closing to finish third in the five furlong inner-turf test last out on Sept. 19.

“We don’t really know what to make of that last effort, hopefully we see a good performance up there on Saturday,” Trombetta said. “She likes to be close, but I don’t think she needs to be on the lead. The distance should help her.”

Bred in New York by Newtownanner Stud Farm, Dufresne is out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Rapids, who is a half-sister to 2011 Grade 2 Remsen-winner O’Prado Again.

A $62,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale, Dufresne graduated at second asking sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs against fellow state-breds over firm footing on August 12 at Saratoga Race Course.

Trombetta, who has 1,993 career wins heading into Wednesday’s racing action, said Dufresne has the frame of a stakes sprinter.

“She’s real solidly built. She’s not real big, but she’s solid,” Trombetta said. “She’s done everything we’ve asked of her. This will be another test to see if she’s good enough to run at that track with these horses.”

Eric Cancel has the call from post 5.

Trainer Wesley Ward has entered the formidable duo of Chi Town Lady and Poppy Flower, who breezed five furlongs in company Saturday on the Belmont inner turf.

Ward said Chi Town Lady is also under consideration for a start against the boys in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity, a six-furlong turf test for juveniles offering a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 2, $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 5 at Del Mar.

“I’m looking at that race and the Futurity as well,” Ward said. “She had a big work in company with Poppy Flower. The owner of Poppy Flower was on hand and said that Chi Town Lady looked much better in the work.”

Chi Town Lady graduated by three lengths at first asking sprinting 4 1/2-furlongs on the Keeneland main track. The Verrazano chestnut stumbled at the start last out on August 18 in the 5 1/2-furlong Bolton Landing over a yielding Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course, but was able to regroup under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez to best stablemate Poppy Flower by 1 3/4-lengths.

Bred in Kentucky by Castleton Lyons, Kilboy Estate and Gavin Tierney, Chi Town Lady is out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Toni’s Hollyday.

“She’s really starting to blossom as time has gone on,” Ward said. “She was always a nice filly, but she’s one of these 2-year-olds that with time is getting better.”

Ward said if Chi Town Lady continues to thrive, he would consider entering her in the one-mile Grade 1, $ 1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“This particular filly I think will go a mile, especially at Del Mar, so I’m thinking about the mile race on the grass for her,” Ward said.

Arnmore Thoroughbreds’ Poppy Flower graduated at third asking in a six-furlong turf sprint at Belmont on June 20 ahead of her Bolton Landing second. The Lea chestnut enters from a third-place finish in the Ainsworth at 6 1/2-furlongs on September 12 at Kentucky Downs

Joel Rosario will pilot Chi Town Lady from post 8, while Poppy Flower will emerge from the inside post under David Flores.

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Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Makin My Move romped to a 12 1/2-length debut win sprinting six furlongs against fellow New York-breds August 20 on the Spa main track.

Trained by John Kimmel, the Carpe Diem bay has since posted four consecutive bullet works on the Oklahoma training turf, including a rapid half-mile in 46.04 on September 3 in her first grass work.

Out of the multiple stakes winning More Than Ready mare Hard to Stay Notgo, Makin My Move is a half-sister to the Kimmel-trained stakes-placed turf specialist Gotta Go Mo.

“Gotta Go Mo can do nothing but run on the grass so I thought maybe grass might be her deal,” Kimmel said. “She [Makin My Move] was pretty amazing in her first work on the grass. Every work she’s had on the grass has been solid. She continues to go out there and handle it really well.”

Kimmel said a strong gate work August 4 on the Oklahoma dirt training track convinced him to start Makin My Move on the main track. After breaking outward on debut, Makin My Move made the lead and continued to widen her margin at every point of call.

“She worked so good on the dirt out of the gate that day and she did win well, but I think she’s better on the grass,” Kimmel said. “She wasn’t on the front end right away last time, but she got there. She has tactical speed but she doesn’t have to be on the front end.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will pilot Makin My Move from post 6.

MeB Racing Stables and Vincent D. Esopi’s Mystic Eyes, a $40,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, graduated in her August 5 debut by 4 1/2-lengths sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs over firm footing at the Spa.

Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Mystic Eyes followed with a runner-up effort in the Ainsworth.

“She looked good breaking her maiden on the grass at Saratoga, so this looked like a good opportunity. She’s a nice filly,” Pletcher said.

By Maclean’s Music, Mystic Eyes is out of the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Cloudburst – a half-sister to 1996 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and Champion 2-Year-Old Boston Harbor.

Manny Franco has the call from post 3.

Scott Dilworth, Evan Dilworth, Randy Andrews and Susan Andrews’ Lady Danae bested Matron-rival Bubble Rock by two lengths in her August 13 debut sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs over firm Mellon turf at the Spa.

The Joe Sharp-trained daughter of Klimt followed with an even fifth last out in the Ainsworth.

Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden and Craig Brogden, Lady Danae was purchased for $210,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.

Luis Saez retains the mount from post 4.

Shortleaf Stable homebred Bubble Rock, by More Than Ready, exited her runner-up effort to Lady Danae with a convincing 3 1/4-length score in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on the firm Mellon turf on September 3 at Saratoga.

Trained by Brad Cox, Bubble Rock is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Reef Point, who is a half-sister to millionaire Blue Chipper – winner of the 2019 Group 1 Keeneland Korea Sprint in Seoul and third-place finisher in that year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the call aboard Bubble Rock from post 7.

Swilcan Stable and LC Racing’s Mainstay, a half-sister to 2-year-old Champion Filly Vequist, will exit post 11 under Kendrick Carmouche in her turf debut. Trained by Butch Reid, Jr., Mainstay is by Astern and out of the Mineshaft mare Vero Amore.

She won her June 4 debut by 7 3/4-lengths sprinting 4 1/2-furlongs on a sloppy Monmouth Park main track and followed with a runner-up effort to Pretty Birdie in the six-furlong Grade 3 Schuylerville in July at Saratoga.

Mainstay enters from a fading fourth in the 6 1/2-furlong Grade 2 Adirondack on August 8 at the Spa.

Rounding out the field is The Club [post 2, Jose Lezcano], Gal in a Rush [post 12, Dylan Davis], Benbang [post 10, Jorge Vargas, Jr.], and High Arabian [post 9, Benjamin Hernandez].

The Matron, slated as Race 6, is part of a lucrative 11-race card that also features the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic [Race 7], a 12-furlong Widener turf test for 3-year-olds and up; and the Grade 2, $250,000 Vosburgh [Race 5], a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 6 at Del Mar. First post on Saturday is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.

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