09/12/2012 3:42PM

Assiniboia Downs: Miss Victoriana seeks threepeat in the Matron


Miss Victoriana, who is based at Northlands Park, won just one race in each of her 2010 and 2011 campaigns.

Those two victories came in the Matron, the top race for fillies and mares at the Assiniboia Downs meeting, and Miss Victoriana will be looking for the three-peat and her first win this season in Friday’s renewal of the 1 1/8-mile race worth $50,000.

The Matron attracted a field of 10 and will go as the seventh of eight races on a program which also includes the $50,000 J.W. Sifton for Manitoba-foaled 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Miss Victoriana, trained since the beginning of 2011 by Ron Smith, has been chasing Alberta’s best fillies and mares recently and is coming off a good but distant second-place finish behind Heidi Maria in the 1 1/16-mile City of Edmonton Distaff.

Fernando Perez, second-leading rider at Hastings, rode Miss Victoriana for the first time that day and has the mount for the Matron.

Witch’s Coven and City Splash, the one-two finishers over 1 1/16 miles of muddy going in the Aug. 4 Winnipeg Sun, loom the top threats for the home side.

Third in last year’s Matron, Witch’s Coven was turning in her best effort of this season for Carl Anderson and again will have Robert Reeves in the irons.

City Splash, also trained by Anderson, was claimed for $20,000 at Woodbine last fall and was making her stakes debut when beaten a length in the Winnipeg Sun.

Chavion Chow retains the mount on City Splash, who finished third in the Matron prep, at 7 1/2 furlongs, behind Finally Flying and Jilleah, who also are returning for the main event.

Ruby’s Big Band also has contested the last two Matrons, finishing third in 2010 and in a dead heat for fourth last year.

But the 5-year-old Ruby’s Big Band, trained by Charlie Smith, has been off form recently and would need a sharp reversal to contend this time under new rider Trevor Simpson.

Kola Kat and Danger Rules, the one-two finishers in the Gold Strike Mile for Manitoba-breds on July 20, will be renewing acquaintances in the 1 1/8-mile Sifton.

Both have started once since the Gold Strike with Danger Rules winning an optional $15,000 claiming/first level allowance race for 3-year-olds and upward at 7 1/2 furlongs and Kola Kat finishing last of eight when facing the top older Manitoba-breds on the grounds in the one-mile Agassiz.