07/25/2010 2:08PM

La Rocca shows grit in Ontario Matron win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - La Rocca turned back a stretch bid from favored Simply Splendid to take the $150,000 Ontario Matron Stakes at Woodbine Sunday.

La Rocca set fractions of 25.75 and 50.17 in the 1 1/16-mile route while racing well off the rail. Simply Splendid came along the rail at the quarter pole to assume control until the sixteenth pole, but La Rocca battled back to prevail by a half-length in 1:45.63. Euphony nosed out the U.S. shipper Floating Heart for third.

Jim McAleney rode La Rocca for trainer Terry Jordan.

"It unfolded ideally to our benefit," said McAleney. "When we rode around the first time, and straightened up on the backside, La Rocca was able to go around there with her ears pricked. We turned it into a short sprint."

La Rocca returned $12.90 in a race with no place or show wagering, because of the scratches of Hooh Why and Rag and Bone. She banked $94,500 for owner Peter Redekop.