Fillies and mares from around the globe are gathering at Hollywood Park in anticipation of the Grade 1, $250,000 Matriarch on November 25. The one-mile grass affair is part of the Hollywood Turf Festival, which is scheduled November 23-25.
Already on the grounds are Juddmonte Farm's Emulous, winner of the 2011 Grade 1 Matron Stakes in Ireland and third in this year's edition last out for trainer Dermot Weld, and J Al Thani's Rjwa, a close second in the Grade 1 Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp in France earlier this season. The Francois Rohaut-trained Rjwa is also eligible for the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby the same day.
Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup winner Dayatthespa (City Zip) is a leading Matriarch contender. Conditioned by Chad Brown, the three-year-old City Zip filly has captured all five starts this season, posting Grade 3 victories in the Herecomesthebride and Appalachian prior to her first Grade 1 score in the October 13 QE2 at Keeneland.
Another prominent nominee is Future Generation, a Group 3 winner last year in Ireland who opened 2012 with plenty of promise, posting a convincing allowance tally at Gulfstream Park. Unfortunately, the four-year-old filly went to the sidelines following a fourth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Honey Fox next out, but Future Generation returned to the races recently in the October 25 Serena's Cat Stakes at Belmont Park, recording an impressive 5 3/4-length triumph. She is trained by Christophe Clement.
Back for another try is Team Valor's Grade 1-winning Summer Soiree, who lost a hard-fought decision to Star Billing in last year's Matriarch. The four-year-old filly will be making her third start off the layoff in the Matriarch for Graham Motion.
Other possibilities are Mizdirection (Mike Puype), winner of the recent Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint over males; Chilean champion and U.S. Grade 2 queen Vamo a Galupiar from the Neil Drysdale stable; Grade 2 winner Halo Dolly, who tuned up for a Matriarch bid with an easy win in the October 20 Miss America at Golden Gate Fields; and Grade 2 victress Reneesgotzip, third in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.