07/20/2003 11:00PM

Matriarch to be run at a mile


Hollywood Park has reduced the distance of the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes and increased the purse and distance of the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby for the 2003 runnings on Nov. 30.

The $500,000 Matriarch Stakes for fillies and mares on turf will be shortened from 1 1/8 miles to one mile. As recently as 1998, the Matriarch was run over 1 1/4 miles. Track officials acknowledged that, with the advent of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in 1999, the Matriarch has lost some of its importance.

"We think this adjustment will change that, because there are no miles for fillies and mares in America, a very prominent distance in Europe," said Martin Panza, Hollywood's racing secretary.

The purse for the Hollywood Derby has been increased from $500,000 to $600,000, and distance has been increased from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/4 miles. The derby was run over 1 1/8 miles on turf from 1981 until last year.

The purse for the Grade 2 Citation Handicap, for older horses going 1 1/16 miles on turf Nov. 29, has been cut from $500,000 to $400,000.