MATRON STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | GRADE 2 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | 6 FURLONGS
ELMONT, N.Y. -- That Millionreasonswhy won her debut by four lengths was an indication to her trainer, Ignacio "Nacho" Correas, that the 2-year-old filly had talent. That Millionreasonswhy won Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park was the confirmation.
Making a four-wide move around the far turn under John Velazquez, Millionreasonswhy kept her momentum going through the lane to win the Matron by two lengths over pacesetting Say a Novena. It was 2 1/4 lengths back to Dancing Anna in third. She was followed by stablemate Good Looking Girl, 9-5 favorite Defy Gravity, and Hook It Up. Born Bullish scratched.
Millionreasonswhy, a daughter of Grand Slam owned by Kevin Plank's Sagamore Farm, won her debut at Colonial Downs by four lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs on June 11. After watching her win that day, Correas thought to himself "she might be very good, because usually I don't care about" winning first time out.
Correas, who is based at Sagamore Farm in Maryland, said he went to Colonial because he felt the filly needed some experience before tackling New York.
Millionreasonswhy got even more experience Sunday as Velazquez tried to save ground, but entering the far turn he had to slightly steady the filly back to last to avoid bumping with Good Looking Girl. Velazquez then took Millionreasonswhy into the four path leaving the three-eighths pole, and she was third, about a length back, turning for home as Say a Novena carved out fractions of 22.84 seconds and 46.75 while being chased by Dancing Anna.
Say a Novena disposed of Dancing Anna, but Millionreasonswhy sustained her rally and took over inside the eighth pole. She covered six furlongs in 1:12.68 -- .68 of a second faster than Jack's in the Deck's final time winning the Futurity for 2-year-old males earlier on the card -- and returned $15.80 as the fourth choice in the field of six.
"I was kind of clipping heels, so I said, `You know what, I'm going to take the safe way, I'm going to go to the outside,' " Velazquez said. "I went right to the clear where it was a safe ride, and I didn't have to check on her [again]. It actually worked out very well."
Correas said he would consider Millionreasonswhy for the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack at 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 14 at Saratoga.