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2023 Matriarch Stakes Day

Surge Capacity returns after winning the Matriarch Stakes
Date: 12/03/2023

The feature race on closing day of the Bing Crosby fall meeting at Del Mar was the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 mile on the Jimmy Durante turf course. Conditions were typical for early December at the seaside oval, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60's for the 3,709 fans in attendance, the main track rated fast and the turf going firm. A field of 12 went to post with Diana (G1) winner Whitebeam sent off as the 9-5 favorite off her 4th place finish in the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland.. In to challenge her included 9-2 second choice Surge Capacity, winner of the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland, and 6-1 third choice Fluffy Socks, second in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga but third in the Athenia at Aqueduct last out.

Down the stretch in the Matriarch Stakes

Jockey Mike Smith sent 27-1 Gracelund Gray to the lead first time by through fractions of 22.80, 45.89, and 1:10.21 while pressed by Whitebeam and stalked by 46-1 Hamwood Flier. Turning for home Gracelund Gray tired as Whitebeam inherited the lead through 7f in 1:22.14 before also tiring. Surge Capacity, 7th early under Joel Rosario, came through on the inside and outfinished deep closing Fluffy Socks to win by a head in 1:33.95. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 18-1 Beaute Cachee third, and neck more to favorite Whitebeam fourth.

Pgm  Horse                 Jockey        Win  Place  Show
 3   Surge Capacity      Rosario       11.40   6.00  4.60
10   Fluffy Socks        Ortiz Jr.             6.00  4.00
 6   Beaute Cachee       Rispoli                    10.00

Winning Time:  1:33.95

$1 Exacta 3-10               41.20
$2 Quinella 3-10             45.20
$1 Trifecta 3-10-6          367.80
$1 Superfecta 3-10-6-5    1,062.70
Results Chart

Left: Surge Capacity in the winner's circle. Jose Hernandez, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown (who trains the first four finishers) said, "She always (sits in behind horses). The same thing in Keeneland. She got in trouble and then when she gets in the clear, she just takes off. It's just her; I've never seen that before. Fillies get intimidated a little bit but when she gets in the clear, she takes off again."

Right: Surge Capacity in the post parade. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "It was a little similar (of a ride) then last time. She's a fighter, you know, she likes to run. She likes the competition. I kind of had no choice but to stay inside (in the stretch). I was just trying to save the ground and then go from there. I was very lucky, with her kick. There was no choice to go around. She is a very nice horse."

Left: Second place finisher Fluffy Socks in the paddock before the race. Trainer Chad Brown said by phone from New York, "The only bittersweet is Fluffy Socks didn't get her Grade 1 win."

Right: Third place finisher Beaute Cachee in the paddock. Brown added, "Beaute Cachee had trouble around the eighth pole. All four ran really well."

Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Whitebeam in the paddock before the race. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "I was comfortable with where she was." Brown added, "Whitebeam was a little closer than I anticipated."

An hour before the Matriarch, a field of 9 two-year-olds contested the $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3) also at 1 mile on the turf. Qatar Golden Mile Stakes winner Lord Bullingdon was sent off as the 2-1 favorite over 9-4 second choice Stay Hot, 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), and 4-1 third choice Deadpan off his maiden win at second asking at Keeneland on October 28.

Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez sent 50-1 Charge for Gold to the lead first time by through fractions of 22.00, 46.30, and 1:12.16 while pressed by 15-2 Invincible and stalked by 12-1 Always on Cay. Turning for home Charge for Gold continued to lead through 7f in 1:24.33 before tiring. Stay Hot, 8th early under Antonio Fresu, came out to the center of the course and rallied to win by a neck over 23-1 Rothschild in 1:35.89. It was a head back to 6-1 Miracle Mark third, and another 1 1/2 lengths to favorite Lord Bullingdon fourth.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Stay Hot in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Peter Eurton said, "I thought he'd be a little more forwardly placed. As it turned out that nine hole was a little bit of a detriment, but it also helped him get outside, which is probably more comfortable."

Right: Stay Hot returns after the race. Eurton added, "That (wide rally) was hard to take, but he seemed like he had something left and it was a fight to the wire. I'm exhausted."

Left: Second place finisher Rothschild in the paddock before the race. The Tim Yakteen trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 5 starts, earning $77,340 for owners SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Dianne Bashor, Robert Masterson, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, and Tom Ryan.

Right: Third place finisher Miracle Mark heads out to the track before the race. The Phil D'Amato trainee improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 3 thirds in 5 starts, earning $64,340 for owners Old Bones Racing Stable and Slam Dunk Racing.

Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Lord Bullingdon in the post parade. The Mike McCarthy trainee has a record of 1 win, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 5 starts, earning $126,220 for owners Colbart Stables and Michael McCarthy Racing Stable Inc.

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