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Nay Lady Nay Rallies to Win Matchmaker
Credit: Bill Denver / Equi-Photo

Nay Lady Nay Rallies to Win Matchmaker

OCEANSIDE, NJ – First Row Partners and Hidden Brook Farm’s Nay Lady Nay rallied between foes in the stretch and got up in time to win Saturday’s $150,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park.

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Breaking from post 6 under Paco Lopez as the 2/1 favorite, Nay Lady Nay settled into a stalking position as the field exited the chute onto the main turf course. Up front, Valedictorian posted opening fractions of :23.62, :47.68, and 1:10.94 while Tapit Today gave closest chase.

The top pair had a sizeable advantage entering the far turn, but Nay Lady Nay and Beautiful Lover desperately fought to make up ground at the top of the stretch.

Running between that foe and Tapit Today midway home, Nay Lady Nay split the pair and edged ahead late to win the 1 1/8-mile firm turf route in a final time of 1:46.21.

Credit: Joe Labozzetta / Equi-Photo

“I won with her twice last year, once at Monmouth and once at Parx, so I remembered her and her running style,” Lopez said. “When Beautiful Lover started coming with me, I was a little concerned because I know that is a good horse. I was able to let my horse settle most of the way. She likes to come from off the pace. They were going pretty fast up front, so I wasn’t really worried when the two (front-runners) looked like they were getting away. She responded very well when I asked her. She’s a nice filly. She really has a strong finish. I just had to find the room for her in the stretch. Once I did, she was fine.”

Trainer Chad Brown completed the exacta, as Beautiful Lover was 3/4 of a length ahead of Feel Glorious. Tapit Today – Brown’s third entry – was another 1/2-length back in fourth.

Varenka, Valedictorian, and High Regard completed the order of finish. Xenobia scratched because her connections chose to run her in Friday’s De La Rose Stakes, where she finished sixth.

Nay Lady Nay’s victory was her first since taking last November’s Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs and reverted her last-out defeat in May’s Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes (G2), her 2020 debut. The Irish-bred 4-year-old No Nay Never filly improved her overall record to 7-4-1-0 with $356,180 earned.

“Paco Lopez gave this horse a great ride,” said assistant trainer Luis Cabrera. “Her last race, she got in a little trouble and it was her first start of the year. This time, she got a perfect trip. She’s a really good, classy filly. She has talent. That’s always important. She broke her maiden at Monmouth Park, so we knew she liked the turf here.”

Nay Lady Nay returned $6.40 to win, $3.80 to place, and $2.80 to show. Beautiful Lover brought back $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show, while Feel Glorious paid $3.40 to show.

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