05/21/2009 11:00PM

Matron repeat won't come easily


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - When Indescribable won the 2008 Arlington Matron Handicap she had something still to prove. The Matron marked her first stakes victory, and was only Indescribable's fourth win. A year later, Indescribable has a different look - tougher, stronger, and once again the horse to beat in the Grade 3, $150,000 Matron.

But this year's Matron is a tougher race, too. The 2008 edition had a field of just seven, but 11 were entered for Saturday's stakes, and the 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race has a strong central quartet. Indescribable sits atop the contenders, but Kiss With a Twist, Euphony, and Serenading also have a decent chance.

After her Matron win, Indescribable got in difficult spots three times in a row. Back at Arlington, she tried a seven-furlong race that was too short. Then, it was on to Saratoga, where Indescribable couldn't show her best on dirt. But she wound up her 2008 season with a narrow wet-turf win in the Cardinal Handicap at Churchill, and sharply won the April 17 Doubledogdare at Keeneland in her 2009 debut. Indescribable has since posted three Keeneland works for trainer Bill Mott, and has the tactical speed to land an ideal pressing trip under Kent Desormeaux.

Euphony makes her graded-stakes debut after winning 7 of her first 9 starts, with wins on both dirt and turf. She races for the first time on a synthetic racing surface, and stretches out to a distance farther than she has yet tried.

"I'd be hard-pressed to say what surface she's better on," said trainer Donnie Von Hemel. "But I think a mile and an eighth is certainly something she can do. I do believe she's a two-turn horse."

Serenading, who invades from the Woodbine base of trainer Josie Carroll, has finished first or second five straight starts, and last month was second to Indescribable in the Doubledogdare. But if she has a chance to improve in her second start this year, so does Indescribable, and Serenading is unproven beyond 1 1/16 miles.

The 5-year-old Kiss With a Twist might still be improving. She finished her 2008 campaign with a spark, and after winning a pair of Turfway Polytrack stakes over the winter, she finished a fine third to Forever Together and Rutherienne in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley going a mile on Keeneland's turf last out. Kiss With a Twist has won 4 of her 6 synthetic-surface starts.

Sky Mom, who should improve off a Keeneland sprint comeback race, won the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks over this surface last summer.

:: Illman and Serling: (DRF Plus)