Arella Rockstar hits winning note in Matron
The Rudy Rodriguez trainee suffered a rough start, losing her footing when the gates opened and then being bumped on both sides. Arella Rockstar moved up to challenge pacesetter Amapola, sticking her head in front past the half-mile in :45.61, and held that slim margin in the stretch as 3-5 favorite Cherry Lodge put in her bid.
For a moment Arella Rockstar appeared to yield to Cherry Lodge, but then the juvenile daughter of Astrology re-rallied on the inside and pulled off the three-quarter-length score in a final time of 1:11.68 for six furlongs on the fast dirt.
It was 2 3/4 lengths farther back to Spirituality in third, who was followed by Amapola and Fly.
Arella Rockstar paid $27.20 for moving her record to a perfect two-for-two. She made her debut for trainer Ralph Nicks against maiden claiming rivals, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths, and was claimed out of that contest by her current connections. This first race against open competition boosted her bankroll to $150,000.
Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Arella Rockstar is the first registered foal out of the unraced Old Fashioned mare Story Untold, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 runner-up Feline Story.
This is the female family of champion sire Raise a Native.
Arella Rockstar photo courtesy of NYRA/Robert Mauhar/Adam Coglianese Photography
Rudy Rodriguez, trainer Arella Rockstar, winner:
“I think she has a lot of guts. She's a fighter. It looked like Cherry Lodge had her beat, but she had another gear. She looked good. We're just going to enjoy the win and take it from there.”
Luis Saez, jockey Arella Rockstar, winner:
“That filly ran so big. When I got on, I was thinking, ‘Man, she's alright.’ When she broke from the gate, she was running. She never gave up. When we came to the stretch, I thought the (Todd) Pletcher horse (Cherry Lodge) was going to pass me but I had a lot of horse and when she switched her lead, she gave me another gear and she got it. Today was the first time (I've been on her). I just watched the replay of her last race when she won in Saratoga and it was a nice race. I really liked her today.”