Matareya Looms Large in Test Stakes


Photo: Skip Dickstein/Tim Lanahan
Matareya wins the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park

Matareya  gave notice in her last start that she is a force to be reckoned with.

That was when Godolphin's homebred Pioneerof the Nile  filly romped by 6 1/4 lengths in the June 11 Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, her first grade 1 win for her connections and affirmation of her affinity for a one-turn trip.

Riding a four-race win streak for trainer Brad Cox, Matareya chases a fifth victory and another at the top level Aug. 6 in the Longines Test Stakes (G1), a seven-furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies on the main track at Saratoga Race Course.

"We really liked her last year and thought she was one of our better 2-year-old fillies," Cox said. "She's obviously one of our better fillies, period.

"I thought originally she would maybe stretch (out in distance), just based on pedigree and how she trained. But we kind of see it in her races, where she wasn't really finishing up quite like we were hoping around two turns. …Once we cut her back to one turn, we've seen a different horse. She's been very consistent around one turn."

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Matareya's talent includes wicked gate speed and versatility. She won the Acorn on the front end but took the May 6 Eight Belles Stakes Presented by TwinSpires (G2) at Churchill Downs with a rally after running sixth early on. Flavien Prat was aboard for both starts and a victory in the April 10 Beaumont Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (G3) at Keeneland. He has the return call Saturday from the inside post in a field of seven.

"She's very quick from the gate; she can break and show the way or she can break and sit off (the pace)," Cox said. "She's very versatile and listens to exactly what the rider wants from her. Flavien has done a good job on her the last three starts, and we're looking for more of the same."   

Little Red Feather Racing's California raider Elm Drive  will make her first start for trainer Michelle Nevin off a third in the July 4 Great Lady M Stakes (G2) going 6 1/2 furlongs for Phil D'Amato at Los Alamitos Race Course. The Mohaymen   filly won the listed Angels Flight Stakes May 8 at Santa Anita Park at the seven-furlong trip. She looks to secure a graded win to pair with her 2021 Sorrento Stakes (G2) score earned as a juvenile at Del Mar

Hot Peppers wins the 2022 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park
Photo: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher
Hot Peppers takes the Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park

Victory Ride Stakes (G3) winner Hot Peppers  rides in a fledgling win streak of her own, having paired that July 9 score going 6 1/2 furlongs with a 6 3/4-length win June 12 in the listed Jersey Girl Stakes at six furlongs, both at Belmont. The Florida-bred daughter of Khozan   drew post 6 under Luis Saez for Michael Dubb and Michael Caruso and trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who sends her out for a third time after taking over training duties from Ronald Spatz.

"When I got her and she started working, I always thought she could step up to the plate, and so far, she has not disappointed us," Rodriguez said. "She's been doing everything that we ask and we just are happy for (the owners) to let her be in the barn."

With a penchant for the front end, Hot Peppers should play into the early pace scenario.

"I'm not going to change tactics. We know she wants to be in control, and she's been doing that since Day One, so I'm not ready to change it," Rodriguez said. "If something happens in the race, I'll let Luis decide what to do. I don't want to get in her way. We're going to have a good idea of what we need to do." 

Mr. Amore Stable's homebred November Rein , winner of the 2021 Seeking the Ante Stakes as a juvenile at The Spa and an allowance winner last out July 9 at Belmont for trainer Kelly Breen; Mark Anderson's Bouwerie Stakes winner Sterling Silver , third in the Victory Ride last out for Tom Albertrani and winner of the Franklin Square Stakes earlier in the season at Aqueduct Racetrack; and Castleton Lyons' Chi Town Lady , winner of the 2021 Bolton Landing Stakes on the Saratoga lawn for trainer Wesley Ward, complete the field along with the George Weaver-trained maiden winner Wish You Well , who will be making just her third career start for Black Type Thoroughbreds, R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, and Kallenberg Farms.

Entries: Longines Test S. (G1)

Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 06, 2022, Race 9

  • Grade I
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $500,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:07 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1Matareya (KY) Flavien Prat 124 Brad H. Cox 2/5
2 2Sterling Silver (NY) Trevor McCarthy 118 Thomas Albertrani 15/1
3 3Elm Drive (KY) Manuel Franco 120 Michelle Nevin 8/1
4 4Wish You Well (KY) Tyler Gaffalione 118 George Weaver 12/1
5 5November Rein (NY) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 118 Kelly J. Breen 10/1
6 6Hot Peppers (FL) Luis Saez 120 Rudy R. Rodriguez 5/1
7 7Chi Town Lady (KY) Joel Rosario 118 Wesley A. Ward 15/1