10/16/2015 12:05PM

Matron right spot at right time for Pretty N Cool

Benoit & Associates
Pretty N Cool wins the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Eventually, Bob Baffert might try to stretch Pretty N Cool out in distance, but for now, he’s content to keep her sprinting. Looking for a spot to keep her short, Baffert landed on Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Matron Stakes going six furlongs at Belmont Park.

After winning her first two starts and running second to the undefeated Songbird – the probable Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies favorite – in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, Pretty N Cool looms a strong favorite over a Matron field that includes Constellation, Libreta, Wave of Glory, Tonasah, and Island Saint.

Baffert said he considered running Pretty N Cool in the Alcibiades Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland but said the filly “might be suspect at a distance” at this time.

“This is a good spot to sprint her and ship her and see how she handles that,” Baffert said. “California horses have been pretty tough. She’s fast. She’s a really pretty filly. She’s named right.”

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Pretty N Cool will try to follow in the footsteps of Exaggerator and Ralis, who shipped across the country this summer to win graded stakes at Saratoga.

Martin Garcia will ride Pretty N Cool from post 5.

Constellation, an $800,000 purchase as a 2-year-old in training, won her debut at Saratoga by 4 1/2 lengths before finishing third behind Rachel’s Valentina and Tap to It – the potential second and third BC Juvenile Fillies choices – in the Grade 1 Spinaway.

“I think this is a good spot for her at this time,” trainer Steve Asmussen said.

The Matron will go as race 4 (2:34 p.m. Eastern) on Sunday’s 10-race program.


Pretty N Cool (Last 3 Beyers: 74-78-95)

◗ Won a maiden race in the slop and then took the Grade 2 Sorrento on a fast track, both at Del Mar this summer, before finishing second behind Songbird in the Del Mar Debutante. Songbird came back to win the Grade 1 Chandelier at Santa Anita.

Baffert said Pretty N Cool “didn’t run her best race against her, and I knew we were up against it.”

“I’m excited to see her run,” he said. “She’s been working well.”

Constellation (Beyers: 72-75)

◗ Lived up to her 9-5 favoritism in a 10-horse field with a pace-pressing 4 1/2-length victory in her debut at Saratoga on Aug. 9.

◗ Had a good trip and just wasn’t up to the task of handling Rachel’s Valentina and Tap to It in the Spinaway.

◗ Owned by the same people who own Nickname, the Grade 1 Frizette winner who is headed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Libreta (Beyers: 80-64)

◗ Showed improved speed with Lasix added to win a maiden race by 6 1/2 lengths on Sept. 27, five weeks after breaking slowly and finishing third at Saratoga in her debut.

◗ Well drawn in post 6, giving jockey Luis Saez options on how to ride this race.