Mayhem in the Matriarch? 12 take to turf in Del Mar closing day feature

The Grade I, $300,000 Matriarch Stakes puts fillies and mares in the spotlight on closing Sunday at Del Mar. A field of 12 will go one mile on turf for the program’s seventh race; post time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to check out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#12 MISS TEMPLE CITY was installed as the 3-1 favorite, but she’s giving off mixed signals going into the Matriarch. Her two wins this year came against males but they both occurred at Keeneland. She ships well and has won elsewhere but it remains to be seen if she can deliver a performance good enough to win in this scenario. The post draw did her no favors either.

#4 ZINDAYA (9-2), one of a trio entered by Chad Brown in this race, will be my top pick. She already made one successful sojourn to SoCal when she won the Goldikova Stakes at Santa Anita last month. Javier Castellano once again has the reins; he rode ZINDAYA to victory over #1 TIZ A KISS in the Goldikova. She should be forwardly-placed in a race lacking early speed.

#1 TIZ A KISS (12-1) just delivered what was probably her best race to date in the Goldikova last time out. She should be able to work out a ground-saving trip under Kent Desormeaux before pouncing late. She may not be good enough to win but she could hit the board at square odds. Note she was Desormeaux’s choice over #9 DECKED OUT, a horse trained by his brother.

#11 TIME AND MOTION (5-1) may want more ground than this and may not get the setup she needs but John Velazquez sees fit to make the trip. The classy filly who’s won five of her last six (four stakes) can make her own luck.

The play: $2 exacta key box 4/1,11,12 ($12)

DFJ analysis: Despite not riding regularly on the west coast, Javier Castellano ($11,000) has lined up several live mounts on Sunday’s card at Del Mar. He’ll ride the 3-1 favorite for Jerry Hollendorfer in Race 1, the 7-2 second-choice in Race 3 (trained by Richard Mandella), and a 12-1 shot on turf in Race 5. After ZINDAYA’s race, Castellano has the call on another live Hollendorfer runner in Race 8.

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