The Del Mar fall meeting comes to a close on Sunday and goes out with a bang as a full field of 14 fillies and mares will line up in a wide open edition of the $300,000 Matriarch (G1) at one mile on the turf.
The streaking Vasilika is the 7-2 morning line favorite for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The filly was claimed for $40,000 back in February. After losing her first start for the new connections by a neck she has reeled off eight straight wins.
Included in the streak is a win in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive and a pair of Grade 2 victories in the John C. Mabee and most recently in the Goldikova (G2).
Flavien Prat has the return call on the daughter of Skipshot who will break from the two post carrying 123 pounds.
Trainer Chad Brown has shipped in a trio of contenders for the race. Uni (9-2) and Rymska (5-1) did not fare well at the post position draw as they will break from the 13 and 14 posts respectively.
Brown also sent Quidura (8-1), who will break from the five post with Jose Ortiz shipping in to ride.
With six or seven in the field having a legitimate shot of winning the race I went looking for a price and landed on Dona Bruja, who is 8-1 on the morning line and will break from the 12 post.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Del Mar.
Let’s head out to Del Mar for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Del Mar Race 7 The Matriarch G1 (Post time 3:30 PT)
#12 Dona Bruja 8-1
#9 Vasilika 7-2
#10 Mission Impassible 5-1
#14 Rymska 5-1
The Ignacio Correas trainee stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to just miss winning the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland by a head. The winner A racing Beauty came back to run a good third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) in her next outing. Two back she was ninth in the Beverly D. (G1) which is always a tough race and this year the winner Sistercharlie exited the race to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and the runner up Fourstar Crook won the Flower Bowl (G1) before running seventh in the Filly & Mare Turf.
Our top pick won three graded stakes in her first five starts in the U.S. but has now lost her last three. She has earned triple digit Beyers in four of her U.S. starts and she has shown an ability to set the pace or come from out of it. This is a tough field, but she fits with her best and with the low profile connections figures to get overlooked in the betting here.
This filly has won 9 of her 10 starts this year including a pair of wins over the turf here. Her lone loss was by a neck against Alw-1 optional claimers in her first go off the claim by Hollendorfer who took her for $40,000. She has racked up over $600,000 this year and is coming off a career top winning the Goldikova (G2) last out at Santa Anita at a mile. She won the Rodeo Drive (G1) two back for her first Grade 1 win but this is a tougher group she faces here.
The filly made her U.S. debut in the QEII Cup (G1) at Keeneland where she ran a good second behind Rushing Fall, who is 6 for 7 in her career for Chad Brown including a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) last year. She won a Group 2 overseas and placed in a Group 1 at Chantilly. She now lands with former Bill Mott assistant trainer Rodolphe Brisset. She did her best work across the pond at a mile and will appreciate the cut back in distance and perhaps not as firm ground as there was some rain here earlier in the week.
WIN: #12 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 9,12 / 9,10,12,14
TRI: 9,12 / 9,10,12,14 / 9,10,12,13,14