February 24, 2024

Matareya heads six in Chicago

Matareya wins the Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Derby City Distaff (G1) winner Matareya will be the one to beat in Saturday’s $225,000 Chicago (G3) at Ellis Park. A four-time stakes winner, including a pair of G1s, the four-year-old tops six fillies and mares in the seven-furlong test.

Brad Cox trains the Godolphin homebred daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, and Flavien Prat retains the assignment. A six-time winner, including her career debut at Ellis, Matareya exits a win over champion female sprinter Goodnight Olive, who came back to win last Saturday’s Bed o’ Roses (G3) at Belmont Park.

Grade 1 winner Society will cut back to a sprint following an unplaced effort in the La Troienne (G1) on May 5. A convincing winner of the seven-furlong Charles Town Oaks (G3) last summer, the four-year-old filly will show speed, and Tyler Gaffalione retakes the mount for Steve Asmussen.

Multiple graded-placed Hidden Connection, runner-up in the Doubledogdare (G3) two back, adds the services of Luis Saez. Drifaros invades from Florida off a troubled effort in the Doubledogdare (G3) at Gulfstream Park, finishing third before being placed second by the stewards. Martin Garcia takes over the reins for Teresa Pompay. Grade 3-placed Stella Noir and Be Like Water complete the field.