11/24/2010 3:11PM

Wasted Tears back for more in Matriarch

Benoit & Associates
Wasted Tears won the Grade 2 John C. Mabee at Del Mar in her first trip to California. She returns on Friday looking for her first Grade 1 in the Matriarch at Hollywood.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When Wasted Tears came to California for the first time in August, she won the Grade 2 John Mabee Stakes by a nose at Del Mar, the smallest margin of victory in her 17-race career. Wasted Tears is back on the West Coast for Friday’s $250,000 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park. Winning will not be easy in the Grade 1 race, which has drawn an international field.

At least the distance is an ideal fit. While the Mabee over 1 1/8 miles on turf was the longest race of Wasted Tears’s career, the Matriarch over a mile on turf is a distance at which she has thrived, with three graded stakes wins in the last year.

The Matriarch will be Wasted Tears’s second consecutive start in a Grade 1. She was fifth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the First Lady Stakes over a mile on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 9. Wasted Tears, who normally leads from the start, was second for the first half-mile of that race, took the lead on the final turn and was caught in the final sixteenth, finishing behind winner Proviso.

“It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to,” said Bart Evans, who owns and trains Wasted Tears.

In the Mabee, Wasted Tears led by a length early and finished a nose in front of Lilly Fa Pootz, who also starts in the Matriarch. Earlier this year in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley Stakes over a mile on turf at Keeneland, Wasted Tears led by as many as 2 1/2 lengths and held on to win by a half-length.

“She likes to relax when she gets where she wants to be,” Evans said.

Wasted Tears, the mount of Rajiv Maragh, drew the outside post in a field of seven in the Matriarch. The other top contenders are Special Duty, who was placed first in the English 1000 and French 1000 Guineas earlier this year; Gypsy’s Warning, who was third in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes here last month; and Go Forth North, who won the Harold Ramser Handicap for 3-year-old fillies here last month.

Special Duty was sixth behind Breeders’ Cup Mile heroine Goldikova in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs in Paris on Oct. 3, her most recent start. A 3-year-old filly, Special Duty has not actually finished first in her last five races. In the English 1000 and French 1000 Guineas, she was beaten a nose and a head, and promoted to first after the first-place finishers were disqualified for causing interference.

Gypsy’s Warning led for the most of the Yellow Ribbon, run over 1 1/4 miles, before finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Hibaayeb. Trainer Graham Motion said the shorter distance of the Matriarch should help Gypsy’s Warning gain a stalking trip under jockey Joel Rosario.

“I think she took the lead by default” in the Yellow Ribbon, Motion said. “Shortening to a mile, I think she’ll be just off the pace. Hopefully, Joel can get her covered up and she can be stalking.

“She’s been a consistent kind of filly. I was impressed with the way she ran. She didn’t give up.”