10/27/2009 12:00AM

Thinking Grade 1 with April Pride


April Pride won her first graded stakes in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Harold Ramser Handicap over a mile on turf, prompting trainer Jim Cassidy to consider an even loftier goal for her next start - the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, a Grade 1 over a mile on turf for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28.

April Pride won the Ramser by 1 1/2 lengths, overcoming a touch of trouble on the turn to reach the front in the final furlong.

"She really has to be ridden aggressively," Cassidy said.

Jockey Garrett Gomez nearly lost his right iron when April Pride found running room.

"When I asked her, she really accelerated, so much so that when we went through there, my boot slipped back in my right iron," Gomez said.

Owned by Forging Oaks Farm, April Pride has won 3 of 14 starts and $182,567. The Ramser was April Pride's first start in a graded stakes. She was 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year, which is not graded, and placed in group stakes in England last year.