Updated on 09/17/2011 5:33PM

Sense of Style takes Matron

Email
Horsephotos
Sense of Style wins by three-quarters of a length in Sunday's Grade 1, $300,000 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Sense of Style wasn't at her best Sunday. She didn't need to be.

After breaking slowly and making a strong middle move, Sense of Style persevered to a one-length victory over Balletto in Sunday's Grade 1, $300,000 at Belmont Park. It was three-quarters of a length back to Play With Fire in third. Darn That Girl, Graceful Nancy and Summer Raven completed the order of finish.

Sense of Style added the Matron to victories in the Grade 2 Spinaway and a maiden win to maintain her status as the top juvenile filly on the East Coast.

Sense of Style threw her head when the gate opened and she was last early on. Graceful Nancy and Summer Raven dueled through a modest half-mile run in 48.03 seconds. Jockey Edgar Prado had Sense of Style six wide down the backstretch. Entering the far turn, Sense of Style jumped into the race and moved into second by the three-eighths pole.

Sense of Style struck the front at the quarter pole then repelled a mid-stretch challenge from Play With Fire, who flattened out while Balletto rallied up the rail.

Sense of Style covered the mile in 1:37.67 - more than a second faster than the Futurity - and returned $2.70 as the favorite.

"It wasn't her best race, but she is a very good horse," said trainer Patrick Biancone. "She ran a good race. When she got in front, it looked like she was going to win easy, but there was another horse coming and she answered her. She is just too good."

Said Prado: "She's getting better with the races and better with the distances."

Biancone said he is uncertain whether he would run Sense of Style again before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park. If Sense of Style does run again before then, it would most likely be in the $400,000 Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 8 for the two-turn experience.