Ticker Tape to Make Eclipse Case in Matriarch

(from Hollywood Park report)
The connections of 3-year-old Ticker Tape hope that a victory in Sunday's $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park will influence enough votes to secure an Eclipse Award as champion grass filly or mare.

The rationale of trainer James Cassidy is that Ticker Tape's consistency in ten starts this year, including what would be three grade I triumphs, would be more meaningful than the single North American victory. That authoritative win went to British invader Ouija Board in last month's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park, making her the division favorite.

The one-mile Matriarch appears so competitive that it seems unlikely that Ticker Tape will even be favored among nine entrants in the co-feature that climaxes Hollywood Park's three-day, $1.75 million Turf Festival.

The Matriarch shares top billing with the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles, which attracted 13 3-year-olds.

Favoritism in the Matriarch is likely to be accorded Musical Chimes, a 4-year-old filly trained by Neil Drysdale for Maktoum Al Maktoum who lost by a neck to Heat Haze in last year's Matriarch.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of In Excess is coming off a troubled trip in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). After having to steady when blocked on the second turn, she finished sixth, finishing but 3 1/4 lengths behind victorious Singletary. She previously had beaten males in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT). Musical Chimes, who began her career in France, has earned $954,489 from a 4-3-1 record in 17 starts.

French-import Denebola has top credentials. She is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Storm Cat coming off a second in the Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) at Longchamp, France's premier racetrack. She won a group I event at Longchamp as a 2-year-old. Gary Stevens rides the Niarchos family filly trained by Pascal Bary. Danebola's 2-2-2 record in nine starts has netted $338,658.

Ticker Tape, trained by Cassidy for a partnership headed by Jim Ford Inc., hasn't run a poor race this year while earning $1,207,426 with a 5-3-0 showing in her nine starts. She burst into national prominence when taking the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park on July 3. Her most recent effort was a victory in the Queen Elizabeth Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland on Oct. 16.

Kent Desormeaux, who has been the regular rider of Ticker Tape, has opted to ride Musical Chimes in the Matriarch. Desormeaux has been aboard Musical Chimes in her last six starts. Victor Espinoza will take over on Ticker Tape.

$500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 mile (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Hoh Buzzard, David Flores, 123
2. Quero Quero, Corey Nakatani, 123
3. Denebola, Gary Stevens, 120
4. Intercontinental, Jerry Bailey, 123
5. Ocean Drive, John Velazquez, 123
6. Ticker Tape, Victor Espinoza, 120
7. Musical Chimes, Kent Desormeaux, 123;
8. Island Fashion, Tyler Baze, 123
9. Etoile Montante, Edgar Prado, 123