Sagamore Farm's MILLIONREASONSWHY (Grand Slam) went three wide into the stretch of Sunday's $150,000 Matron S. (G2) at Belmont Park and pulled off to secure the two-length victory under jockey John Velazquez.
"I broke out of there and they came out a little, but I pointed right to the inside and they came right back inside of me," Velazquez described his ride. "I was kind of clipping heels so I said 'You know what, I'm going to take the safe way. I'm going to go to the outside.' And it happened that (Hook It Up) stopped, I went right to the clear where it was a safe ride, and I didn't have to check on her. It actually worked out very well. I think she'll go further -- very nice."
Trained by Ignaciou Correas IV, the bay miss moved her record to a perfect two-for-two after breaking her maiden by four lengths in her career debut on June 11 in an off-the-turf test at Colonial Downs. She finished up this six-furlong, fast track event in 1:12 3/5 to pay $15.80, $6.50 and $4.20 as the 6-1 fourth choice.
"We always thought she was good," Correas said. "We chose to run her at Colonial (in her most recent start) to give her some experience. We knew that she had talent. She had a really bad break but she won anyway. You cannot ask for a horse to do better than she did (in her first start), so why not give her a shot.
"She wants longer. We'll look at Saratoga; she will take us there. If she comes out good and does good, why not?"
Say a Novena (Songandaprayer) led the way into the lane after setting splits of :22 4/5, :46 3/5 and :59 1/5 on the backstretch. Pressed early on by Dancing Anna (Cuvee), the near 7-2 third pick held that rival by 2 1/4 lengths to take second on the wire. Dancing Anna had 6 3/4 lengths to spare over Good Looking Girl (Medallist), with 9-5 favorite Defy Gravity (Bandini) another three parts of a length back in fifth. Hook It Up (Hook and Ladder) completed the field after Born Bullish (Flashy Bull) was scratched.
Millionreasonswhy, bred in Kentucky by Tom Evans, Tenlane Farms and Oratis, has nearly earned back her purchase price of $115,000 as a Keeneland September yearling having now banked $103,340. She is out of dual stakes winner In Secure (A.P. Indy), making her a half-sister to stakes scorer and last year's Victory Ride S. (G3) third Beyondallboundarys (Saint Liam) as well as a pair of unraced colts, an After Market yearling and a 2011 Midnight Lute foal.
In Secure is herself a daughter of dual stakes queen Morelia (Deputy Minister) and counts as a half-brother the stakes-placed Perfectus (Maria's Mon). This is the same family as 1990 Wood Memorial (G1) winner Thirty Six Red (Slew o' Gold), who placed in that same year's Belmont S. (G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1); Grade 1 vixen Corrazona (El Gran Senor); 1980 Louisiana Derby (G2) victor Prince Valiant (Stage Door Johnny), who ran third in the next year's Widener H. (G1); and Group 3 scorers Olmodavor (A.P. Indy) and Polski Boy (Danzig Connection).