07/19/2012 4:23PM

Evangeline: Love Dare looks good in Matron


Love Dare, twice victorious in allowance company and second in the Opelousas Stakes in her three starts this summer, should rule as the public’s choice when she takes on nine rivals in Saturday night’s Matron Stakes at Evangeline Downs. The headliner carries a $50,000 purse and will be run at a mile over the turf.

After taking off part of the spring to freshen, Love Dare returned to action on May 6 and she controlled the pace throughout to prevail in courageous fashion. The 4-year-old Love Dare then stepped up to stakes company locally in the Opelousas, where she once again set all the fractions before giving ground grudgingly to Aquapazza, beaten less than a length.

Love Dare has since traveled back to Louisiana Downs, where she displayed the ability to lay just off the early pace before kicking clear and defeating a good group of open allowance foes. Trainer Alvin Sider has once again given Rex Stokes the call.

Amazing Saint, no worse than second in nine starts dating back to last fall, appears to the Love Dare’s primary opposition. Claimed by trainer Brent Delahoussaye for William Whitley for $30,000 in mid-February, Amazing Saint has won 2 of 3 starts since, including the restricted Bonnie Chance Stakes at Delta Downs in mid-March. Tracy Hebert returns to the saddle.

With no shortage of early speed in this year’s Matron, Bella Medaglia merits consideration. Although lightly raced on turf, the 5-year-old Bella Madaglia is graded stakes-placed over synthetic and has shown the ability to fire from well off the pace. She will be coupled in the wagering with How Pleasant because Pat Devereux trains both for Coteau Grove Farms. Diego Saenz will ride Bella Medaglia while Ramsey Zimmerman will be on board How Pleasant.