11/27/2010 1:49PM

Motion confident Gypsy's Warning has found her niche

Benoit & Associates
Gypsy's Warning wins the Grade 1 Matriarch under Joel Rosario.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Gypsy’s Warning saved her best race of 2010 for her last race of 2010.

In Friday’s Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes, Gypsy’s Warning rallied from fifth in a field of seven to win the $250,000 mile turf race by 1 1/4 lengths over the multiple stakes winner Wasted Tears. The win left trainer Graham Motion certain that the distance is ideal for Gypsy’s Warning.

“The mile is really right up this filly’s street,” he said by phone from Maryland after the race. “She’s a really honest filly. This is pretty exciting stuff.”

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Gypsy’s Warning was timed in 1:34.01. The Matriarch was Gypsy’s Warning’s most prestigious win in five starts in this country, and her second consecutive appearance in Southern California.

On Oct. 2, Gypsy’s Warning was third in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf here, but did not have the sort of trip that Motion had envisioned. He hoped that she would stalk the pace in that race, but she wound up on the lead, eventually finishing third to Hibaayeb.

After the race, Gypsy’s Warning returned to Motion’s base in Maryland. She returned to California early last week.

Gypsy’s Warning had a perfect trip in the Matriarch. Rosario had the mare fourth on the first turn, and fifth while racing wide on the backstretch. Rosario urged Gypsy’s Warning to the front with a four-wide move on the turn and into the stretch and she took the lead in the final furlong.

“I loved where he had her,” Motion said.

Gypsy’s Warning, a 5-year-old South African mare, has won 7 of 16 starts and $491,862. Motion and Aron Wellman of co-owner Team Valor International did not mention any short-term goals after the Matriarch. There was no need to. The Matriarch itself was the late season focus.

Reba Is Tops will target Monrovia next

Reba Is Tops has won 12 of 26 starts in her career, a record padded by a victory in Friday’s $61,980 Raise Your Skirts Stakes. She has won four stakes, but is yet to win in a graded stakes, which trainer Mark Glatt hopes to achieve at Santa Anita in January.

Reba Is Tops, 6, is scheduled to be bred to a stallion in Kentucky next year, but is likely to start in the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap on Jan. 2, a Grade 3 race over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

“That’s more than likely what we’ll do,” Glatt said. “We can give her a shot at a graded stakes placing or a graded stakes win.”

Owned by a partnership, Reba Is Tops has started in four graded stakes in her career, including a second when beaten a nose in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap at Santa Anita in April 2009.

Nakatani fined for whip violation

Jockey Corey Nakatani was fined $300 by track stewards on Friday for a whip violation in Thursday’s first race.

Nakatani was cited for using his whip after Stakin Stewart “had attained its maximum placing,” the stewards wrote in their ruling. Stakin Stewart finished last of five in a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles, finishing 21 lengths behind fourth-place finish Cash Michael and 28 1/2 lengths behind Riveting Reason.