Godolphin homebred Alms remains undefeated after a last-to-first performance in Saturday's Grade 3 Matron Stakes at Belmont, earning her second straight win at odds of 3-5. The juvenile daughter of City Zip, ridden by Jose Lezcano for trainer Mike Stidham, ran six furlongs over the firm turf in 1:09.30. Alms defeated 11-1 frontrunner Time Limit by 1 1/4 lengths at the wire.
“We've always been real high on this filly,” said Stidham's assistant Ben Trask. “We trained her sister [Hallie Belle] as well, who was a stakes winner and graded-placed. We ran her back a little quick, but we wanted to see what we had. She trains at Fair Hill on the synthetic track and she does everything right. At the break, I would have liked her to have been a little bit closer, but when she broke, she looked at the horses a little bit and then again on the turn. When she got outside, she finished well and came home nice.”
Time Limit was very sharp out of the gate, cruising through a first quarter in 22.42 seconds while a length in front. Pure Wow pressed the issue rounding the far turn, but Alms was content to bide her time at the rear of the field early on.
Going three-wide into the lane, Alms kept grinding all the way down the lane to run down Time Limit in the final sixteenth. At the wire, Alms was 1 1/4 lengths the best, with Time Limit settling for second. A Freud of Momma finished third and Karak checked in fourth.
“At the three-eighths pole, I had to start asking her,” Lezcano said. “She's still young and a little bit green. I wanted to ask her a little bit earlier because I know the turf is playing a little bit fast today and I didn't want to fall too far behind. Once I asked, she went on well to win the race. I think she can go longer.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Alms is out of the unraced Empire Maker mare Charity Belle, making her a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Hallie Belle (Medaglia d'Oro). Alms won on debut at Belmont on Sept. 19, and the Matron is her second win from as many starts to improve her overall earnings to over $130,000.
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