Updated on 09/17/2011 9:24PM

Arlington: Miss Matched gives her all

Benoit Photo
Miss Matched wins the $40,000 Ribbon Handicap by a head Saturday at Arlington Park.

Shaun Bridgmohan is kind of the replacement for departed leading jockey Rene Douglas at Arlington. Douglas had the same agent as Bridgmohan when he was here, and came to Arlington with a similar sort of national standing. And on the first Saturday of the Arlington meet, Bridgmohan picked up where Douglas left off, winning a weekend stakes race.

It was not easy, either. Miss Matched ($7.20) and Bridghmohan got bounced while racing in traffic at the quarter pole of the $40,000 Ribbon Stakes, and after moving into a fast pace, and running into a stiff stretch headwind, the pair was all out to hold clear the late charge of the longshot Seeinsbelieven. But Miss Matched held on by a head, giving the trainer John Ward - another Arlington newcomer - his first win this meet.

"She was bucking that wind and she was tired," said Ward. "She did a good job keeping her stride."

Lady Carmen and Tally Ho Dixie dueled through a wicked half-mile in 44.73 seconds; Miss Matched and even-money favorite Whimsy weren't far behind. Whimsy moved up widest, but flattened out and finished third, while Miss Matched, caught in tight quarters, put her head in front at the top of the stretch and battled on, getting six furlongs in 1:11.34.

"The more I asked, the more she gave," said Bridgmohan.