07/01/2011 2:08PM

Belmont Park: Defy Gravity shoots for stakes in Matron


ELMONT, N.Y. – After Defy Gravity rolled to a six-length maiden win in her second career start at Pimlico on May 8, the offers began rolling in to owner Roland Reeley. He was on the verge of selling her to Kentucky interests when he changed his mind, much to the relief of trainer Valora Testerman.

“My owner said. ‘All I would do is buy another horse and hope they were her,’" Testerman said. “I was really excited. She is that kind of horse.”

By “that kind” Testerman means the kind good enough to win stakes, something she will try to do in Sunday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Matron.

Defy Gravity finished third in her debut – beaten a nose for second by Matron entrant Dancing Anna – when she was sent to the front over a sloppy track. Testerman knew that’s not the running style Defy Gravity prefers, but she was worried how the filly would handle slop being kicked in her face. In her next start, Defy Gravity stalked Silkystar before taking drawing clear to win by six.

“The second time I let her run her race,” Testerman said.

Testerman was going to run Defy Gravity in last weekend’s Debutante at Churchill Downs, but the day she was going to ship was the day a tornado hit in Kentucky, and there was some uncertainty over how that might affect racing at Churchill. The ship to New York is significantly shorter and the pot is 50 percent higher.

Born Bullish won her debut here on June 24 by nine lengths in what trainer John Terranova described as “a public workout.” She came out of the race so well, Terranova entered her back in the Matron. He said he would talk to owner Stephen Mack before a final decision is made on whether she runs.

“From all the signs we’re seeing, the race didn’t faze her,” Terranova said. “Maybe it made her better.”

Say a Novena, Millionreasonswhy, and Hook It Up complete the field.