06/17/2010 12:00AM

Only one of Matz trio looks certain for Rooney Memorial


Trainer Michael Matz is certainly keeping his options open this weekend for his female turf runners. Matz has three of the 14 fillies and mares entered in Saturday's $75,000 John Rooney Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park.

But since he has cross-entered two of those horses in other races, it's unlikely Matz will actually run all three in the Rooney, a 1 1/16-mile race on the grass. Katara is cross-entered in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs. Matz also dropped two entries into the box for Monday's second race at Delaware, a $38,000 race open to nonwinners of three lifetime or $35,000 claimers. Katara and Aaroness are both entered in the Monday race, where they are the track's top choices on the morning line among just six entered for the turf.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Matz said he was uncertain about what he planned to do. But the only one of his trio entered simply in the Rooney is Trensa, which makes her the logical choice to run in this spot.

Trensa, 6, has not raced since missing by a neck in the Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial 11 months ago. Trensa fits well if she's ready to run her best off such a long layoff. Matz doesn't do well with long-layoff types, however. Over the last five years, he is just 3 for 40 with horses returning from a break of more than 180 days in a turf route, according to DRF's Formulator.

There is no clear standout in the Rooney, as evidenced by the fact the morning-line favorite, The Gaillimh Girl, is a lukewarm 4-1. A lightly raced 4-year-old who began her career in France, The Gaillimh Girl cuts back in distance after being up close at the stretch call of the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay last time out.

Two others who merit respect are My Main Starr and Ainamaa.

My Main Star has primarily raced on dirt during her 28-race career, but she is 2 for 2 on grass, including the Dahlia at Laurel Park in her most recent outing two months ago.

Ainamaa either had the lead or was within a length of the leader at the stretch call of two Grade 3 turf stakes at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this season. Since shipping north, Ainamaa weakened to finish third in a third-level optional claimer at Delaware and was noncompetitive in a stakes taken off the turf at Mountaineer.