ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – There may have been a royal wedding today, but it was Princess La Quinta that showed that her true royalty by winning Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Arlington Matron Stakes at Arlington Park. This is the first graded stakes victory for the four-year-old daughter of Quality Road and her second consecutive victory.
Daddy’s Boo broke best and wasted no time getting to the lead. She was followed in quick succession by Moonlit Garden, Kyllachy Queen, and Princess La Quinta while the rest of the pack sat more than five lengths back. Into the backstretch, Moonlit Garden pulled right up off of the pace while the other two sat back and waited to make their move. Into the second turn, Princess La Quinta was pushed on by jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. and passed two horses with ease, leaving Daddy’s Boo as the only horse between her and the finish. Both horses battled hard but it was Princess La Quinta that had more in the tank as she passed Daddy’s Boo to win by a length ahead of Daddy’s Boo. The 5-2 morning line favorite Con Te Partiro got up for third and Felt in Pocket finished fourth.
“The last time I rode her she kind of stumbled a little bit, and I didn’t rush her and she ran super, so today I knew they were gonna send the seven horse and the eight, they looked like the speed and I was just going to track them as much as I could,” said jockey Carlos Marquez, Jr. “It worked out perfect, I tucked into the rail on the first turn and saved ground on the backside, got comfortable and when I said ‘ready’, I said let’s just creep up little by little and she grinded home.”
Princess La Quinta is owned by Al Moorhouse and James Gulick and is trained by James Gulick.
“We hoped that she would win a stake for us someday and it never dawned on me that she would win a graded stake, and it never occurred to me that she would win here at Arlington, which is a place I love so much,” said trainer James Gulick. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Princess La Quinta returned $8.80 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Daddy’s Boo brought back $3.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Con Te Partiro paid $2.20 to show.