11/02/2006 1:00AM

Meaningful win for Matz, Prado

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Michael Matz and jockey Edgar Prado were back together in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs for the first time since winning the May 6 Kentucky Derby with Barbaro when Sangrita drove to victory Thursday in the Grade 2, $170,250 .

After closely tracking the early pace set by longshot Mary Delaney, Sangrita assumed command in the upper stretch, then steadily edged clear to finish one mile in 1:36.65 over a fast track. Joint Effort rallied belatedly to finish second, two lengths behind the winner and another 1 3/4 lengths before Indian Flare in a field of nine fillies and mares.

Sangrita is owned by Matz’s wife, Dee Dee. The 3-year-old filly by Mr. Greeley now has won 3 of 5 career starts, with the Chilukki being her first stakes win. She returned $11.20 as fourth choice.

Matz, Prado, and the other Barbaro connections were honored the previous night at the National Turf Writers’ Association annual awards dinner for their tireless efforts in assisting the colt in his recovery since suffering grave injuries in the May 20 Preakness. Also honored were the colt’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, and the New Bolton veterinary team led by Dr. Dean Richardson.

Earlier Thursday, Bright One ($2.60) pulled away from Little Cliff to post a 3 1/2-length victory in a third-level, $54,520 allowance race at 1 1/16 miles. The race was the first for Bright One since his disappointing seventh-place finish in the Oct. 7 Indiana Derby.