Updated on 09/17/2011 12:25PM

Marylebone steps up to win Matron

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Marylebone ($16.00) outfinishes Lokoya in the stretch to win the $200,000 Matron by a nose at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. - It was another case of the reserve stepping in for the starter and playing a terrific game.

Marylebone, who was only entered in Sunday's Grade 1 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park when Whoopi Cat developed a foot bruise, outfinished Lokoya in the stretch to win the $200,000 by a nose at Belmont Park. It was another 5 3-4 lengths back to Eye Dazzler in third.

Marylebone and Whoopi Cat are both owned by Michael Tabor. Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Marylebone, said he entered Marylebone in the Matron only after he was told that Whoopi Cat, trained by Patrick Biancone, would not run. Pletcher, who also trains Lokoya and Matron fifth-place finisher Sisti's Pride, had three times entered Marylebone in an allowance race, but it didn't fill. Pletcher had also considered shipping Marylebone to the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies, but didn't want to ship.

"We decided this was a better alternative," Pletcher said.

On Saturday, trainer Bobby Frankel won the Grade 1 Ruffian with Wild Spirit, who was substituting for the ill Sightseek.

Lokoya, Sisti's Pride and Eye Dazzler were heads apart through six furlongs in 1:10.70 while Edgar Prado had Marylebone in the second flight outside 2-1 favorite Feline Story.

Prado tipped Marylebone four wide at the quarter pole, she hooked up with Lokoya in mid-stretch, and persevered past Lokoya at the wire. Marylebone, a daughter of Unbridled's Song, covered the mile in 1:38.02 and returned $16 to win.

"Both fillies ran winning races," Pletcher said. "It's unfortunate for Lokoya she was on the wrong end of a head bob and fortunate for Marylebone that she was on the right end."

Though she got her final quarter in a pokey 27.32 seconds, it is noteworthy that Marylebone was stretching out to a mile from a five-furlong maiden race.

Pletcher, who is pointing Spinaway winner Ashado to the Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette here on Oct. 4, could run Marylebone or Lokoya in that race as well. The other filly would most likely be pointed to the Grade 2, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 3.

Feline Story, who was running in the Matron just two weeks after winning the Sorority, finished fourth, beaten 7 1-2 lengths. Trainer Stanley Hough a combination of the distance and running back too quick that accounted for the sub-par performance.