ELMONT, NY – Godolphin’s homebred Alms repaid all who placed faith in the heavily-favored filly when she flew home strongly to win Saturday’s $150,000 Matron Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
Breaking from the rail as the 3/5 bettors’ choice under Jose Lezcano, Alms allowed her foes to speed up to the early lead, saving ground on the rail at the rear. Up front, Time Limit held a slight advantage over Pure Wow through fractions of :22.42 and :45.44.
Tipped out midway through the far turn, Alms found herself in the middle of the lane as she commenced a furious rally to the front. Collaring a seemingly loose-on-the-lead Time Limit near the 1/16 pole, Alms swept past under a hand ride to win.
The Mike Stidham trainee completed the 6-furlong sprint over the firm inner turf course in 1:09.30 and crossed 1 1/4 lengths clear.
“At the 3/8 pole, I had to start asking her,” said Lezcano, who also won the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes aboard another Godolphin homebred, Final Frontier. “She’s still young and a little bit green. I wanted to ask her a little bit earlier because I know the turf is playing a little bit fast today and I didn’t want to fall too far behind. Once I asked, she went on well to win the race. I think she can go longer.”
Time Limit was second-best, finishing 2 1/2 lengths ahead of A Freud of Mama, who headed Karak for third. A weakened Pure Wow and a non-threatening Classy Sadie completed the order of finish.
Alms’ win was her second in as many career starts, having broken her maiden here on September 19 while sprinting 6 furlongs over the outer turf course. The 2-year-old daughter of City Zip will likely head to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) with $123,750 in earnings to her name.
“We’ve always been real high on this filly,” said Ben Trask, assistant to Stidham. “We ran her back a little quick, but we wanted to see what we had. She trains at Fair Hill on the synthetic track and she does everything right. At the break, I would like her to be a little bit closer, but when she broke, she looked at the horses a little bit and then again on the turn. When she got outside, she finished well and came home nice.”
Alms returned $3.30 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Time Limit brought back $6.30 to place and $4.20 to show, while A Freud of Mama paid $3.70 to show.