Miss Temple City prevails in Matriarch

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Jen Caldwell

December 5th, 2016

Miss Temple City was sent off the 8-5 favorite in Sunday’s $302,070 Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar, and the popular filly lived up to all expectations with a hard-fought nose victory under Edgar Prado.

The dark bay miss tracked just a few horses behind the pacesetting Stays in Vegas while three wide. The leader posted splits of :23.51, :48.04, 1:12.26 and 1:23.68 while Zindaya kept pace in second.

Zindaya faded upon hitting the stretch but Stays in Vegas was still going strong. It wasn’t enough to withstand Miss Temple City, though, as the Graham Motion trainee came with a furious wide run to collar the leader and hold off an equally hard-charging Roca Rojo on the wire.

Miss Temple City paid $5.20 while finishing a mile over Del Mar’s firm turf in 1:35.16. Roca Rojo was game in defeat, just a nose back of the winner while a head up on Stays in Vegas. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Mexican Gold in fourth, with Zindaya following in fifth.

Time and Motion, Tiz a Kiss, Prize Exhibit, Nancy From Nairobi, Kitcat and Sobradora Inc completed the order under the wire.

Campaigned by The Club Racing LLC, Needle in a Haystack LLC and Sagamore Farm, Miss Temple City kicked off her four-year-old campaign with a stylish win over the boys in the Makers’ 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland on April 15.

That readied the dark bay lass for a return trip to Royal Ascot. In 2015 she just missed by two lengths when fourth in the Coronation Stakes (G1) and this season filled that same spot but in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2).

The Kentucky-bred miss showed up at Saratoga a month later and was only a neck back of the winner when fourth in the Diana Stakes (G1). After a troubled fifth in the Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) on August 27, Miss Temple City returned for Keeneland’s fall meet and once again scored over the boys, sticking her head in front on the wire of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

The talented filly was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park off that effort and reputed herself well when fifth. Miss Temple City now boasts a 16-6-3-2 record and has earned $1,453,054 in lifetime earnings.

Bred by Bobfeld Bloodstock, Miss Temple City is out of the stakes-placed Artax mare Glittering Tax, making her a full sister to Grade 3 heroine and last-out Commonwealth Oaks (G3) third-placer Pricedtoperfection.

Miss Temple City photo courtesy of Benoit Photos


Edgar Prado, jockey Miss Temple City, winner

“The trick with her is to get her to settle early. We got a good spot early and in the first eighth of a mile she was relaxed. She was just going easy. We turned for home and I asked and she was there. I had some extra and I needed it. She’s a special horse.”

H. Graham Motion, trainer Miss Temple City, winner

“She won by a little farther than I thought she did (looking at the photo finish shot).  I had a little bit of a sick feeling in my stomach when they hit the wire. I was a little bit worried at the top of the stretch as well. I think we were a little too cute with her earlier in the year trying to get her covered up and take too much of a hold on her. She’s got a lot of natural speed and the key is to get her settled. Edgar figured that out the first time he rode her. It’s really gratifying to end the year this way. I hated to see her getting beat all the time. She had a rough patch in the summer. Hopefully we’ll be here at this time of year next year.” 

Florent Geroux, jockey Roca Rojo, second

“She hesitated on me – just for a second. Then she picked it up and went. But that little bit might have cost us the race. She ran great, but I think we could have won it today.”

Drayden Van Dyke, jockey Stays in Vegas, third

“She’s got a nice turn of foot and we caught an easy lead. The fractions weren’t much at all and she was going fine. She fired, fired big. But she just got beat by two of the best mares in the country.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey Mexican Gold, fourth

“I got stuck down inside and couldn’t get out. If I get out, I might be right there.”