Cherry Lodge looks to move forward in G3 Matron

December 10, 2019

ELMONT, N.Y. - Gainesway Stables' Cherry Lodge will headline a field of five in the 110th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Matron for juvenile fillies at six furlongs on Sunday at Belmont Park.

A $450,000 yearling purchase in the 2015 Keeneland September sales, the daughter of Bernardini made her debut on August 7 at Saratoga in which she bested nine rivals and picked up a field-high 89 Beyer Speed Figure. As the odds-on favorite in the Grade 1 Spinaway on September 3, she encountered trouble at the break and raced to finish 5 ¾ lengths back in third.

Expected to draw support at the windows, Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be aboard Cherry Lodge as the pair leave from post position 4.

Pletcher will also enter Spirituality for Winstar Farm. A $150,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders' Sale 2-year-olds in training, the daughter of Gemologist made a stellar debut in which she won by eight lengths on August 4 at Delaware Park. In her next start on synthetic at Arlington Park, she ran ninth in the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Drawing post 5, Spirituality will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Looking to break her maiden will be Amapola for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and Lael Stables. A progeny of Broken Vow, she initially made her debut last May for trainer Antonio Sano where she was disqualified from first and placed sixth. In her first start for Mott on August 7 at Saratoga she finished second by one length, and was second by a half-length again on September 11.

Manny Franco will be up for the first time as Amapola will depart from post 2. Making her first start for trainer Rudy Rodriguez is Arella Rockstar. A debut winner claimed on August 31 at Saratoga by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, the daughter of Astrology will leave from post 3 with Luis Saez aboard.

Rounding out the field is Fly for Dark Hollow Farm and trainer Phil Schoenthal. Shipping in from Laurel Park, the Brilliant Speed filly will be making her first start on dirt in the Matron after breaking her maiden on the turf on August 5 and finishing fourth in the Selima on September 10 at Laurel.

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