06/16/2011 5:20PM

Lincoln: Bluegrass top two finishers renew rivalry in Matchmaker


Lou Lou Larue and Nayborhood Affair, the one-two finishers in the Bluegrass Stakes earlier this month, meet at a mile this time around in the $20,000 Matchmaker Stakes for older Nebraska-bred fillies and mares, the Saturday feature at Lincoln Race Course.

Also on the card will be a pair of exhibition camel and ostrich races in what has become an annual spectacle during the Lincoln season.

Lou Lou Larue kept her unbeaten streak over this track intact last out, winning the six-furlong Bluegrass by 1 3/4 lengths over Nayborhood Affair for her fifth career win at Lincoln. She likely will be favored in this spot off a career mark of 8-2-1 from 12 starts but will have her work cut out here. Lou Lou Larue opened her 2011 campaign with a win in the Bold Accent going a half-mile at Fonner Park in March, then rebounded from a well-beaten third in the Orphan Kist to win an open allowance and the Bluegrass.

Nayborhood Affair is the defending champion in this race and the stretch-out to a mile will make things interesting. Nayborhood Affair had not been beaten on this track until her last out but is still 2 for 2 at the distance. Nayborhood Affair captured the Orphan Kist Stakes for her lone win of the year but will be well respected in the wagering.

Leading rider Jordan Olesiak returns for trainer Chuck Turco on Lou Lou Larue while Steve Hall has regular rider Ashley Dill on Nayborhood Affair.
Gracie Jane could pose a threat to upset the top pair for trainer Jim Cranwell. Gracie Jane has been second against both of these rivals this year and her closing style should be set up by a solid pace.