09/16/2009 11:00PM

Worstcasescenario to sit back in Matron


ELMONT, N.Y. - Worstcasescenario made the leap from the maiden ranks to Grade 2 winner when she romped to a 4 1/2-length victory in last month's at Saratoga. Saturday, there are a couple of 2-year-old fillies seeking to do the same when they take on Worstcasescenario in the Grade 2, $250,000 Matron at Belmont Park.

Awesome Maria and Heavenly Landing were both good-looking maiden winners at Saratoga and try to validate those performances in the seven-furlong Matron, which drew a field of nine.

Awesome Maria is a daughter of Maria's Mon out of Discreetly Awesome, who, according to trainer Stanley Hough, is a half-sister to the Grade 1 winner Discreet Cat. After finishing second in her debut going 5 1/2 furlongs, Awesome Maria rolled to an 8 1/4-length victory in a seven-furlong maiden race at Saratoga, albeit over a sealed, sloppy track.

"I think she's a really good filly, I really do," said Hough, who also runs the colt Discreetly Mine in Saturday's Grade 2 Futurity. "She doesn't have that natural speed like the colt does, but she's out of the same family - she's out of a sister to Discreet Cat that never raced. She doesn't act like a real speed horse. Going seven-eighths, she'll lay relatively close, but I think she's going to be better the further she goes."

Awesome Maria will break from post 4 under Cornelio Velasquez.

Worstcasescenario has shown good speed in both of her victories, an off-the-turf maiden win here in July and the Adirondack, in which she sat right off the speedy Dashing Debby before taking control turning for home. Rick Violette, the trainer of Worstcasescenario, says he thinks his filly would benefit from being farther off the pace on Saturday under Alan Garcia.

"I'm hoping there's some speed in front of us," Violette said. "I'd love to be three or four lengths off it."

Heavenly Landing, a daughter of Pulpit trained by Eddie Kenneally, enjoyed an inside stalking trip and displayed a strong turn of foot in the stretch when winning a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race at Saratoga on Aug. 23 by three lengths. The third-place finisher from that race, Kitty in a Tizzy, came back to win a one-mile maiden race here Wednesday.

Dashing Debby will seek to bounce back from a fifth-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the Adirondack. She may have had to run too fast too soon breaking from the rail.