Trainer Chad Brown has long been renowned for his success training female grass horses. On Sunday at Del Mar, he reiterated that prowess by saddling the top four finishers in the Matriarch S. (G1).
A dozen runners faced the starter in the one-mile turf test, with Brown’s Diana (G1) winner Whitebeam favored at 19-10. But after tracking quick fractions (:22.80, :45.89, 1:10.21) and taking command in the homestretch, Whitebeam weakened in the drive to finish fourth behind her stretch-running stablemates Surge Capacity, Fluffy Socks, and Beaute Cachee.
Surge Capacity, the 9-2 second choice off victories in the Lake George (G3) and Valley View (G3) against fellow three-year-olds, was content to rate in seventh place for much of the journey. The Klaravich Stables homebred was still sixth with a furlong remaining, but rallied gamely up the rail to edge Fluffy Socks in the shadow of the wire and win by a head in 1:33.95.
Beaute Cachee closed from fifth place to finish third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths while coming home a neck ahead of Whitebeam. Ruby Nell, Closing Remarks, Elm Drive, Gracelund Gray, Queen Goddess, Hamwood Flier, Wakanaka, and Elounda Queen completed the order of finish.
“She’s a fighter, you know, she likes to run,” Rosario said of Surge Capacity, a daughter of Flintshire with a 5-4-1-0 lifetime record. “She likes the competition. I kind of had no choice but to stay inside. I was just trying to save the ground and then go from there. I was very lucky, with her kick. She is a very nice horse.”
Brown and Rosario are no strangers to success in the Matriarch. Brown has won the race six times since 2017, including the last four editions in a row. Rosario has likewise won six Matriarchs, including four when partnering with Brown.
The Sunday card at Del Mar also featured the Cecil B. DeMille S. (G3) for two-year-olds racing one mile on turf. Stay Hot, coming of a 10th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), relished the drop in class and rallied from eighth place behind fractions of :22.00, :46.30, and 1:12.16 to prevail by a neck in 1:35.89.
Rothschild launched a rail rally and led close to home, but ultimately settled for second place by a head over Miracle Mark. Lord Bullington, Charge for Gold, Deadpan, Always On Cay, Invincible, and Just a Guess trailed the field.
Bred by Brereton C. Jones, Stay Hot is trained by Peter Eurton and owned by the partnership of Burns Racing, Exline-Border Racing, SAF Racing, The Estate of Brereton C. Jones, and William Dan Hudock. Jockey Antonio Fresu guided the son of Summer Front to the winner’s circle.