Vasilika and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade I, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes, Saturday, September 29, 2018 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO
Del Mar ends its 16-day 2018 Fall racing season Sunday featuring older fillies and mares in the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes at one mile over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Post time for the first of nine races on closing day is 12:30 p.m.
Heading an outstanding line-up of 14 distaff runners is Vasilika, the rags-to-riches filly who will be seeking her ninth consecutive victory as the 7-2 morning line favorite. The daughter of Skipshot was claimed for $40,000 last February at Santa Anita, including among her triumphs the Grade II John C. Mabee last summer at Del Mar and, more recently, the Grade I Rodeo Drive and Grade II Goldikova. Regular rider Flavien Prat has the call from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
However, Vasilika faces a daunting task in the Matriarch. Her rivals include a strong contingent from the East coast – Valadorna (Mike Smith), Quidura (Jose Ortiz), Daddy Is a Legend (Manny Franco), Mission Impassible (Florent Geroux), Dona Bruja (Declan Cannon), Uni (Joel Rosario) and Rymska (Irad Ortiz, Jr.).
Chad Brown, the nation’s leading trainer thus far in 2018, will send out Quidura, Uni and Rymska as he attempts to repeat his Matriarch success of a year ago with Off Limits.
Representing the “home team” will be Excellent Sunset (Rafael Bejarano), Fahan Mura (Edwin Maldonado), Mopotism (Geovanni Franco), Ms Bad Behavior (Tyler Baze), Insta Erma (Drayden Van Dyke) and Luminoso (Evin Roman).
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