A well-matched field of 11 fillies and mares headline the Saturday feature at Woodbine in the $125,000 Ontario Matron Stakes (G3). The 1 1/16-mile contest on the Tapeta features a slew of contenders in what appears to be an excellent betting affair.
CRUMLIN QUEEN (#1) (20-1) – Michael Doyle trainee adds blinkers following a runner-up allowance finish in her second start of 2019. The five-year-old mare could sneak into the gimmicks if she moves forward with the equipment change.
LUNAR GARDEN (#2) (15-1) – Speedy sort had a decent prep for this one when fifth in the Trillium Stakes (G3) last out over track and distance. The Stuart Simon charge smoked a bullet five-eighths most recently and will be a pace factor under Rafael Hernandez.
MISS MO MENTUM (#3) (7-2) – Lively contender from the Mark Casse barn was sharp in pulling clear late in her Trillium victory. The Uncle Mo filly will be coming from off the pace under Jerome Lermyte, and she rates an obvious chance with even minor improvement.
GIOVANNA BLUES (#4) (20-1) – Sneaky contender is two-for-four on the Tapeta and earned a 103 BRIS Late Pace figure when a closing fifth in her debut for this outfit. The Gio Ponti mare could pick up a check at big odds with a forward move second time out in 2019.
LADIES NIGHT (#5) (20-1) – Inconsistent sort was no factor against many of these last out and has the look of a long shot in the affair. The Gail Cox trainee would need a career-best to make the frame.
SENSE OF BRAVERY (#6) (8-1) – Wildcard in the field makes her synthetic debut in a difficult assignment for Kevin Attard. The Street Sense filly had a solid three-year-old campaign and will be bringing speed to the field off the shelf. Jesse Campbell has the mount.
NIIGON’S BAY (#7) (6-1) – Chestnut is perfect from two races this campaign, with both coming on this main strip. The Rachel Halden trainee should receive a strong pace to rally into with Patrick Husbands signed on.
KATIE BABY (#8) (5-2) – Catherine Day-Phillips pupil has never run a bad one and was second-best in the Hendrie (G3) in advance of this test. The talented daughter of Curlin is a must use as the deserving favorite under top pilot Eurico Da Silva.
SUMMER LUCK (#9) (10-1) – Mark Casse trainee has a solid turn of foot and will improve following an unplaced showing when wide throughout in the Trillium. The Lookin at Lucky mare might add value to the gimmicks with a well-timed ride.
PAMINA (#10) (15-1) – Street Cry lass from the always dangerous Michael Dickinson barn bagged a turf allowance race in her seasonal debut. The four-year-old earned a 105 BRIS Late Pace figure in her lone prior outing on the course and could be moving best of all inside the final furlong. Luis Contreras will guide the BRIS Prime Power leader at a healthy price.
DIXIE MOON (#11) (5-1) – Classy Curlin filly was shut off when third in the Trillium in a most recent endeavor. The second major player from the Day-Phillips barn could peak third time off the layoff with Emma-Jayne Wilson picking up the mount.
Lunar Garden, Ladies Night and Sense of Bravery all have sharp gate presence. Katie Baby and Dixie Moon will track that trio and get first run into the stretch on the slew of late runners in the field.
I will center my wagers around that duo, focusing on the vertical exotics which could be substantial.
$1 Trifecta 8, 11 with 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 11 with all = $90
PHOTO: Miss Mo Mentum (c) WEG/Michael Burns Photography