‘We’ll See’: Matareya’s Next Start TBD After Third As Test Stakes Favorite - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘We’ll See’: Matareya’s Next Start TBD After Third As Test Stakes Favorite

Matareya, after winning the G1 Acorn with Flavien Prat aboard in June at Belmont

While conditioner Brad Cox went into the Longines Test (G1) with full confidence in his post-time favorite, Matareya, he was by no means dejected after the Pioneerof the Nile filly was handed her first loss of the year when third in Saturday's seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.

“It was unfortunate, but listen, she didn't run bad,” said Cox on Sunday morning. “She came out of it good and was tired. Yesterday just wasn't her day. She wasn't quite travelling as easy up the backside as I like to see and how I've seen in her previous races.

“Maybe Saratoga just isn't her thing – it's the 'Graveyard of Champions,'” Cox added, with a laugh. “It is what it is.”

Matareya entered from a cool 6 1/4-length victory in the Acorn (G1) on June 11 at Belmont Park, the first top-level score for the bay filly after earning graded wins in the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs and Beaumont (G3) at Keeneland earlier this spring.

The Test had an eventful end after Hot Peppers dictated terms throughout the seven furlongs over a demanding good and sealed main track. There was a stewards' inquiry after subsequent winner Chi Town Lady drifted in from the outside while Hot Peppers veered out on the inside and both bumped a tiring Matareya.

Cox said he was fine with there being no change to the order of finish.

“She was [beaten] a length and three quarters and it got a little tight late, but the running was over at that point and it didn't cost her a placing,” Cox said.

Cox added it is too early to say where Matareya may race next, but that he would like to keep her around one turn with the La Brea (G1) on December 26 at Santa Anita as a potential long-term target.

“In the 3-year-old filly division around one turn, all the Grade 1s are pretty much over with the exception of the La Brea at the end of the year, so we'll see,” Cox said.

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