A day after saddling Golden Pal to an odds-on stakes victory at Saratoga, trainer Wesley Ward took out an odds-on favorite at the Spa when Chi Town Lady surprised Matareya and five other three-year-old filly rivals in Saturday’s $500,000 Test S. (G1).
The trailer down the backside and lagging well behind a :22.54 and :45.28 pace set by Hot Peppers, Chi Town Lady commenced her rally midway around the far turn, swung wide for the stretch run, and turned in a sustained rally to sweep past Matareya and Chi Town Lady inside the final sixteenth under Joel Rosario.
“I told the owners we were probably going to be running a 30-1 shot, but I wanted to take one shot from way back and do what she’s been asking me to do, which is make a big charge and a big grind,” Ward said. “We were hoping for a second or third – a graded placing – to see if the race fell apart, and here we are in the winner’s circle.”
Owned by Castleton Lyons, Chi Town Lady won the seven-furlong Test in a time of 1:23.87 over a track rated good after a mid-afternoon dousing of rain. She returned $36 to win.
Chi Town Lady prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths over Hot Peppers, who repelled 3-10 favorite Matareya for runner-up honors. The rest of the field was strung out, with the order of finish being Sterling Silver, Wish You Well, November Rein, and Elm Drive.
“My first thought was I didn’t think she was travelling that well down the backstretch,” said trainer Brad Cox regarding Matareya, who entered off consecutive wins in the Beaumont (G3), Eight Belles (G2), and Acorn (G1). (Jockey) Flavien (Prat) thought the same, she wasn’t really taking them up there. It’s probably a sign of her just not getting a hold of the track. No excuse really.”
Chi Town Lady won her first two starts, a 4 1/2-furlong maiden at Keeneland and the 5 1/2-furlong Bolton Landing S. at Saratoga on the turf, but had generally struggled prior to the Test. Following the Bolton Landing she went unplaced in the Futurity (G3), Myrtlewood S., and Beaumont, finishing more than 15 lengths behind Matareya in the latter. Chi Town Lady entered the Test off a distant second-place finish in a May 19 Churchill Downs allowance.
By Verrazano, Chi Town Lady was produced by the multiple stakes-placed Toni’s Hollyday, by Harlan’s Holiday. She was bred in Kentucky by Castleton Lyons, Kilboy Estate, and Gavin Tierney and has now earned $417,800.