Matera became TAPIT’s 143rd stakes winner on Wednesday evening when taking out the Listed Mari Human George Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand by three quarters of a length. The victory came two races after TAPIT’s Exulting finished second in the Listed Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes on the same card.
The winner of both her races this year, Matera broke among the best in the field but happily took back under Florent Geroux to race a few lengths behind the leading Juliana (Per) as that one set the pace. Matera enjoyed a run on the rail all alone as the final two horses raced over five lengths behind her. Racing into the turn, Geroux let Matera out a notch and she quickly passed all but the leading Microcap.
As they entered the stretch, she was reeling in that runner and had her head in front as they entered the shadow of the wire. She took advantage of the final strides to lengthen her lead to three quarters of a length as the race favorite for Don Alberto Stable.
“It was her first time in a stakes,” said Geroux. “She’s jumping up in condition. There were things against her. But she had the class. Very pleased how hard she worked for it. She’s a very well-bred filly so a win or place in this kind of race for this type of filly is extremely important. So I’m very glad it worked out for her and for the owners.”
Matera scores first stakes win in Mari Hulman George Memorial @IGRaceCourse on IN Derby Night – Story by Jennie Rees: https://t.co/8icFqZ8j85 Photos by @CoadyPhoto pic.twitter.com/DNJ1CjKue7
— Tammy Knox (@IGTammy) July 8, 2021
Trained by Brad Cox, it was a third win in six starts for $152,530 earner Matera. The 4-year-old filly was bought by her owner for $1.4 million at the 2018 Keeneland September Sale from Taylor Made, who consigned her for breeder Albaugh Family Stables.
The filly’s price tag was the second highest of all fillies at the sale, the highest priced filly of that year’s first session, and the highest priced TAPIT yearling sold in 2018.
Cox indicated that a trip to Ellis Park for the August 15 Groupie Doll Stakes may be next for his charge after Wedneday’s victory.
“Possibly, this race sets up well. This has been a race that has matched up well with the Groupie Doll. Very happy for the owners for sure. Big update for that filly,” he said.
Matera is a half-sister to dual Grade 1 winner Liam’s Map and Grade 3 winner Not This Time, with both stallions successful young sires. Also under her Grade 3 winning dam Miss Macy Sue is her stakes winning half-sister Taylor S and the dam of Grade 2-placed Virginia Eloise. Miss Macy Sue is also a half-sister to stakes-placed Junior Cotano and Saudi Arabia champion Alnajim Almodeea.
TAPIT leads all active North American sires by lifetime Grade 1 winners (27), Grade 1 performers (57), graded stakes winners (89), and stakes performers (280). He is second by stakes winners at 143 only to a stallion who has stood for six years longer than him.