Del Mar: 2022 Matriarch Stakes Exotics Plays

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 3rd, 2022

A deep field of 10 fillies and mares will run one mile on the Del Mar lawn in Sunday’s $400,000 Matriarch S. (G1). #7 Wakanaka (5-1) is a high-quality filly who seems destined to earn Grade 1 glory at some point in her career, and I will give her the slight nod for conditioner Bill Mott. By Power, the four-year-old has displayed a fine turn of foot while facing top competition since arriving in the U.S., and the bay fits well in this cast while making her Golden State debut.

The Irish-bred bay has won two of her last three races in advance of Sunday, led by a victory in the Dance Smartly S. (G2) at Woodbine three back. Wakanaka had a good prep for this affair when wearing down her foes in the Fall Harvest S. at Keeneland most recently, and she will give a fine account of herself against this cast with Joel Rosario coming in to retain the mount.

Of the duo hailing from the Chad Brown shedrow, I give a slight advantage to #9 Dolce Zel (6-1) with Irad Ortiz in the irons. By Zelzal, the sophomore miss has won or placed in each of her five starts since arriving in the States this campaign, with each coming in the graded stakes ranks while improving her Brisnet Speed figure on each occasion.

The French-bred filly possesses tactical speed combined with a solid turn of foot, and I expect the bay to get the jump on the deeper closing contenders at the top of the stretch, as well. Dolce Zel comes in fresh off the bench for a potent layoff outfit, and she looms large with another move forward on Sunday.

Multiple Grade 1 heroine #6 Regal Glory (8-5) is a must-use for Brown on class alone. Animal Kingdom six-year-old has been first or second in 18 of her 22 lifetime engagements, and while her form is not precise currently, the chestnut romped in the event in 2021 and wouldn’t be a surprise with Flavien Prat taking the reins.

#10 Avenue de France (15-1) owns a 7-2-1-4 mark on the Del Mar green and will be included in multiple vertical exotics. Cityscape five-year-old didn’t fire at Santa Anita in her most recent try but will take a big step forward on Sunday despite drawing widest of all with Juan Hernandez in the controls.

#8 Pizza Bianca (6-1) is lightly raced with room for improvement for Christophe Clement. Fastnet Rock three-year-old will have a swift pace to rally into and makes a lot of sense as a top-three threat with Umberto Rispoli in the stirrups.

Matriarch Wagers

  • $12 win and place #7 Wakanaka ($24)
  • $1 superfecta key 7 with 6,8,9,10 ($24)
  • 40-cent superfecta 6,7 with 6,7,8,9,10 with 6,7,8,9,10 with 6,7,8,9,10 ($19.20)