10/09/2010 10:27AM

Matz has three for divisions of Rosenna Stakes


If indeed two heads are better than one, it stands to reason that three horses must be better than two.

So many fillies and mares were entered for Monday’s Rosenna Stakes at Delaware Park that the 1 1/16-mile turf race had to be split into two divisions, each worth $50,000 with a field of 11 runners.

Five trainers entered two runners – one in each division – but Michael Matz went one step further by coming up with three candidates for the two races. Matz will saddle Aaroness, a 4-year-old filly outfitted with blinkers for the first time, in race 6 and the uncoupled pair of Aquitaine and Stormy Relations in race 8.

Of the trio, the 4-year-old Aquitaine looks like the strongest contender. She has three wins and a second in her last four starts while rising from the maiden claiming ranks in June to a runner-up finish in the George Rosenberger Memorial, a race in which she encountered traffic trouble coming around the second turn and had to be taken up by jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. Still, Aquitaine managed to make up more than six lengths in the final furlong while coming home the final 2 1/2 furlongs in a swift 29.61 seconds.

Aquitaine’s stablemate in the second division, Stormy Relations, finished last of 10 in the Rosenberger, her first start since July. Notably, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., who rode Stormy Relations in the Rosenberger, switches to Aquitaine for Monday’s race.

Among the five trainers with two runners, Mike Trombetta looks most dangerous with Sweeter Still (race 6) and Ansong (race 8).

Sweeter Still won the 7 1/2-furlong Light Hearted at Delaware on Aug. 1, finisning 1 1 3/4 lengths ahead of the Matz-trained Aaroness, then regressed when she stepped up to try Grade 3 company in the Noble Damsel at Belmont. This will be Sweeter Still’s first try beyond one mile since she finished third in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park in June 2008.

Ansong won her first start since coming to Trombetta’s barn in a third-level optional claimer at Laurel Park on Sept.. 24. She was a nonthreatening fourth in each of her two stakes appearances the past two seasons.

The first division also includes First Ascent, winner of the Red Carpet at Penn National two starts ago, and Tripped, a sprinter who stretched out to 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 23 and now looks to make it three wins in a row.

One other notable in the second division is the Venezuelan import Bambera, who won 13 of 14 in her native country last season and was a close third in the Rosenberger.