Godolphin homebred MATAREYA (f, 4, Pioneerof the Nile–Innovative Idea, by Bernardini) proved the main beneficiary of an abysmal trip for heavily favored champion female sprinter Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper) as she took Saturday’s GI Derby City Distaff to kick off the graded action on Derby day at Churchill Downs. The 5-1 shot stalked out in the clear early, took over at the top of the lane and kept on going as the chalk found herself completely hemmed in behind the winner and inside of Wicked Halo (Gun Runner) for the length of the stretch. Wicked Halo crossed the wire second, giving the previously seven-for-eight Goodnight Olive her first worse-than-second finish. The winning margin was 3/4 of a length and the final time was 1:21.87. Matareya, carrying the same silks as Friday’s GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Pretty Mischievous (Into Mischief), capped a four-race winning streak last year in the GI Acorn S. at Belmont Park. Third as huge chalk in Saratoga’s GI Test S. that August, she resurfaced to finish second best to Wicked Halo last time in Oaklawn’s Mar. 31 Matron S. Lifetime Record: 11-6-3-1.
O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox.
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