09/21/2005 11:00PM

Raylene takes on Ice Girl


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Raylene, Alberta's horse of the year in 2003, makes her Assiniboia Downs debut in Saturday's Matron Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward.

The Matron Breeders' Cup, run at 1 1/8 miles, carries a guaranteed purse of $40,000, with an additional $25,000 available to the four Breeders' Cup-eligible horses: Raylene, J D's Deelites, Lt. Regent, and Ice Girl.

After finishing third in the Ontario Matron Handicap at Woodbine in June to begin her year, Raylene was sent back to Northlands Park in Alberta in early August. She finished second in the Madamoiselle Handicap on Aug. 12 before winning the City of Edmonton Distaff Handicap on Aug. 28. In her most recent start, Raylene finished second, beaten a nose, against males in the Speed to Spare.

Jim McAleney, who rode Raylene in all eight of her starts at Woodbine, has been named to ride.

Ice Girl defeated Raylene by four lengths in the Madamoiselle two starts back. In her most recent start, Ice Girl had a three-race win streak snapped when finishing third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Raylene, in the City of Edmonton Distaff.

Ericka's Lass was fifth in the Shakopee Stakes at Canterbury Park last time out. Trained by Emile Corbel, Ericka's Lass won the La Verendrye and Winnipeg Sun stakes and finished second in the Canada Day Stakes here earlier this year. Ericka's Lass will be ridden by Alan Cuthbertson for the first time. Rohan Singh, who had been aboard Ericka's Lass in her six previous start here this year, will ride Ice Girl.

Corbel will also send out Lt. Regent. A winner over $10,000 claimers in her last start, she will test a route of ground for the first time.

J D's Deelites, the lone 3-year-old in the field, rallied into a fast pace to overtake stablemate Oxford Joy when winning the Assiniboia Oaks last time out.

Rounding out the field of seven are Remiewaterbluz, who has finished third in her last four starts, including the Winnipeg Sun and Canada Day Stakes; and Antartida, who has finished second against allowance company in her last two starts.