Pretty N Cool (Scat Daddy), second behind the unbeaten Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) in the Sept. 5 GI Del Mar Debutante, bypassed another match-up with that divisional leader and shipped east for a hard-fought victory in Sunday’s GII Matron S. at Belmont Park. The gray filly, favored at 4-5, broke alertly and was soon on the lead. She was pressed by ‘TDN Rising Star’ Constellation (Bellamy Road) and Libreta (Girolamo) through fractions :22.39 and :44.96. Pretty N Cool look poised to sail home, but Constellation fought back grimly along the rail. The favorite found the measure of that foe in the final strides to win going away. Tonasah (Malibu Moon) ran on for third.
Pretty N Cool, who was a 2 3/4-length winner of the 6 1/2-furlong GII Sorrento S. at Del Mar in August, battled Songbird on the front end before tiring to finish second, beaten 5 1/4 lengths in the seven-furlong Debutante. Trainer Bob Baffert said the drop back to the Matron’s six furlongs was key to Pretty N Cool’s return to the winner’s circle Sunday.
“We knew going in she was doing really well and six furlongs is her distance,” Baffert said. “She has a lot of quality and ran like we thought she’d run. She’s pretty fast. She could have rated, but [jockey Martin Garcia] just kept her where she was comfortable. She was doing it the right way and he knows her really well, which is why we had him ride her.”
Garcia added, “When I asked her to go, she took off. In the end she was playing around.”
The Matron was Pretty N Cool’s fourth career start. She debuted with a front-running 4 1/2-length victory going five furlongs at Del Mar July 19.
Breeder Nancy Shuford purchased Stayclassysandiego, with Pretty N Cool in utero, for $120,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November sale. The stakes-placed mare is a half-sister to Grade I winner Sean Avery (Cherokee Run). She produced a filly by Blame in 2014, a filly by Lemon Drop Kid this year and was bred back to Scat Daddy.
Sunday, Belmont Park
MATRON S.-GII, $200,000, BEL, 10-18, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:09.73, ft.
1–PRETTY N COOL, 121, f, 2, by Scat Daddy
1st Dam: Stayclassysandiego, by Rockport Harbor
2nd Dam: Latin Lynx, by Forest Wildcat
3rd Dam: Senita Lane, by Ascot Knight
($160,000 Ylg ’14 KEESEP). O-Karl Watson, Michael E Pegram & Paul Weitman; B-Nancy C Shuford (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Martin Garcia. $120,000. Lifetime Record: GISP, 4-3-1-0, $342,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Constellation, 117, f, 2, Bellamy Road–For Royalty, by Not For Love. ($155,000 Ylg ’14 KEESEP; $800,000 2yo ’15 OBSMAR). O-LNJ Foxwoods; B-WinStar Farm LLC (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen. $40,000. ‘TDN Rising Star’
3–Tonasah, 117, f, 2, Malibu Moon–Quanah County, by Valid Expectations. ($170,000 Wlg ’13 KEENOV; $250,000 Ylg ’14 KEESEP). O-StarLadies Racing; B-Smart Angle LLP (PA); T-Todd A Pletcher. $20,000. ‘TDN Rising Star’
Margins: 1, 1, 1. Odds: 0.90, 3.50, 7.50.
Also Ran: Wave of Glory, Island Saint, Libreta.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.