Edgar Prado beams after Miss Temple City’s winning performance in the G1 Matriarch
A big weekend for Spendthrift stallion Temple City began Saturday when sophomore Annals of Time won the G1 Hollywood Derby; on Sunday, 4-year-old daughter Miss Temple City, owned by The Club Racing, Needle in a Haystack and Sagamore Farm, proved very game in the G1 Matriarch, also at Del Mar, hanging on by a nose over the late-charging Roco Rojo. Under Hall-of-Famer Edgar Prado, Miss Temple City covered a mile over the firm turf in 1:35.16, earning their third top-level victory of the season for trainer Graham Motion.
“The trick with her is to get her to settle early,” Prado said. “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.”
Miss Temple City was sharp out of the starting gates, but with the filly’s wide post draw (12-hole) Prado had to rush her a bit to get a good early position. The pair were able to move into third while three-wide as the field approached the first turn, but Prado took a slight hold to drop her back mid-way through the turn and she ended up only two paths off the rail. On the front end, sophomore Stays in Vegas strode out to a solid first quarter fraction of 23.51 seconds, entering the backstretch two lengths in front of Zindaya in second. Mexican Gold was in perfect stalking position along the rail.
Stays in Vegas eased through a second quarter in 24.53 seconds, setting a half-mile fraction of :48.04 while maintaining her easy lead. Zindaya was comfortably in second along the rail, with Miss Temple City three-quarters of a length off her flank in third. Zindaya began to encroach on the leader entering the far turn, forcing Prado to take Miss Temple City back out to the three-path to make her rally.
At the head of the lane, Stays in Vegas found another gear to stay a full length in front of the fast-charging Miss Temple City. Mexican Gold looked poised to rally up the rail but faltered; her Chad Brown-trained stablemate Roca Rojo took up the challenge from the back half of the field, unleashing a big turn of foot to threaten Miss Temple City in the final 100 yards.
Prado felt the pressure and dropped even lower over the saddle, encouraging Miss Temple City with everything he had. She responded gamely, holding off Roco Rojo by a nose on the wire. Stays in Vegas did not fold until very late in the stretch, running a big third at odds of 15-1. Mexican Gold was fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Bobfeld Bloodstock, Miss Temple City was an RNA at $ 10,000 when entered in the Keeneland January sale as a short yearling. A solid season of multiple graded stakes placings in 2015 gave way to a massive 2016 campaign, as the filly twice defeated males over the Keeneland turf in the G1 Maker’s 46 Mile and G1 Shadwell Turf Mile, in between which she shipped to Royal Ascot to run fourth in a Group 2 event. Most recently, she finished a respectable fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile behind Tourist and Tepin. Overall, Miss Temple City boasts a record of six wins from 16 starts, with earnings of over $ 1.4 million.
“She won by a little farther than I thought she did (looking at the photo finish shot),” Motion said. “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.”
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