By Tom LaMarra
The MATCH Series travels to northwestern Pennsylvania for the first time when Presque Isle Downs & Casino on Aug. 20 hosts the $100,000 Satin and Lace Stakes, fourth of five legs in the Filly and Mare Sprint–Dirt Division.
The Satin and Lace, which attracted a full field with an also-eligible list, lured division leader Jessica Krupnick, who needs one more start in a MATCH event to qualify for bonus money. The fifth and final leg, the $100,000 Roamin Rachel Stakes at Parx Racing, will be run Sept. 15, final weekend of the series.
Trained by Francis “Tres” Abbott III, Jessica Krupnick in her two MATCH Series starts finished second in the Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park in June to Chalon, who won impressively by four lengths but hasn’t raced since. She followed up with a victory in the Dashing Beauty Stakes at Delaware Park in July and has 17 points in the series.
Before her MATCH Series run began, the 5-year-old mare shipped to Woodbine for a grade III stakes for fillies and mares on the Tapeta surface and finished fourth, beaten only three-quarters of a length, after taking the lead from the start. Jessica Krupnick has been training on Tapeta at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, and Presque Isle has a Tapeta surface.
The six-furlong Satin and Lace is the local prep for the grade II Presque Isle Masters Stakes and therefore drew interest from connections of fillies and mares with experience on synthetic surfaces, including graded stakes winners and the winner of last year’s edition.
By Tom LaMarra
The $100,000 Satin and Lace Stakes at Presque Isle Downs & Casino produced an impressive winner in Midwest invader Hotshot Anna, but it also gave third-place finisher Jessica Krupnick the title in the MATCH Series Filly and Mare Sprint—Dirt Division with one of five legs remaining.
Jessica Krupnick, owned by Sycamore Racing V and trained by Francis “Tres” Abbott III at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, entered the Satin and Lace with 17 points based on a victory in the Dashing Beauty Stakes and a second-place finish in the Regret Stakes. Her start at Presque Isle made her eligible for bonus money, and her third-place finish under jockey Trevor McCarthy after a bit of trouble in the stretch pushed her points total to 22.
With only one division race left—the $100,000 Roamin Rachel Stakes at Parx Racing Sept. 15—only Liz’s Cable Girl and Day by Day have a chance to qualify for bonus money should they start. But they can’t accrue enough points to catch Jessica Krupnick, even with a victory.
Abbott said if all is well, it’s likely Jessica Krupnick would compete in the six-furlong Roamin Rachel. The 5-year-old mare is now tied with three other horses for second in the overall MATCH standings, and only one point behind the leader, Laki.
The Satin and Lace, at six furlongs on the Tapeta surface, is a local prep for the grade II Presque Isle Masters Stakes, and as such lured several fillies and mares that regularly compete on synthetic surfaces at Arlington Park and Woodbine. Hotshot Anna, owned and trained by Hugh Robertson, had won the grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington in sizzling time for seven furlongs in her previous start.
The 4-year-old filly was well-placed just off the early lead under Antonio Gallardo but took command on the far turn and coasted home to win the Satin and Lace by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:08.86 on a track rated fast and paid $4.20 to win as the favorite. Crazy Sweet finished second, just a head of Jessica Krupnick.
“I thought she’d like (the surface here) because she trains lights-out on the Polytrack at Arlington,” said Robertson, who plans a return trip for the Masters Stakes. “As long as she comes out of this race OK, we’ll come back for it.”
Robertson, a longtime Illinois-based horseman who doesn’t ship east very often, indicated he is intrigued by the concept of the MATCH Series, which had last been held in 2001.
The MATCH Series returns to Presque Isle Sept. 16 for the $200,000 Presque Isle Mile Stakes, final leg of the 3-Year-Olds and Up Long—Dirt Division.