Japan-trained Matera Sky, runnerup in this year's Grade 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in March, was not successful in his US challenge, finishing last in the eight-horse field of the Breeders' Cup Sprint held on Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
"He lost a bit weight coming here, but he's a quiet type and everything went well leading up to the race," trainer Hideyuki Mori said. "He jumped well from the outside, but got caught up in a very speedy pace up front and had very little left at the third corner. It would've been ideal to come around the final turn with a bit more in hand, but the pace just didn't suit him today. Judging from his start, he seems to be suited to the American track. Looking forward to challenging with my horses again in the future."
"He's used to travelling and, because he is a quiet horse, he was relaxed today," jockey Yutaka Take said. "The warmup was his usual self and he jumped out well. We couldn't hit the front but he ran smoothly and the result was not for his lack of speed – he fought really well. The dirt track at Santa Anita is easy to ride on and seems like a typical US track. It's tough for the Japanese horses to perform well here, but we should have a chance if we keep challenging these races."
Another Mori-trained horse, Full Flat, finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Friday.