More Matriarch Domination: Brown Runners 1-2-3-4 at Del Mar

Surge Capacity | Benoit

Chad Brown sent four horses to the West Coast in search of his sixth victory in the GI Matriarch S. at Del Mar Sunday and the New York-based conditioner's quartet ran one-two-three-four with the aptly named Surge Capacity (Flintshire {GB}) getting free late to just edge stablemate Fluffy Socks (Slumber {GB}) on the wire. Beaute Cachee (Fr) (Literato {Fr}) was third and Whitebeam (GB) (Caravaggio {Ire}) was fourth. It was the first time that a trainer had swept the top four in a Grade I win Del Mar history.

“It's really my DNA from Bobby Frankel,” Brown, a former assistant to the late Hall of Famer, said of his Matriarch record. “This was one of his favorite races, everybody knows that. He always pointed fillies to this race every year and I worked in Southern California for him for some time and I remember him pointing certain horses to this race and winning.”

Brown continued, “I still use a lot of what he taught me to get horses to this race and I always think of him when I am designing a campaign for a horse to get to the Matriarch. It's just one of those races that I decided early on in my career, when I started getting better horses, that it was going to be part of my program to point horses to it. We've been very successful and I want to thank my team for really executing the things that I've taught them that he passed down to me.”

Making just the fifth start of her career, Surge Capacity was away a tad awkwardly before settling in midpack along the rail as stablemate and favorite Whitebeam tracked pacesetting longshot Gracelund Gray (Goldencents) through fractions of :22.80 and :45.89. Surge Capacity inched closer down the backstretch, but was mired in traffic into the far turn and was shuffled back approaching the stretch as Fluffy Socks was rallying in the clear on the outside.

Whitebeam had a short-lived advantage in upper stretch as Fluffy Socks produced a powerful rally down the center of the course to take the lead inside the final furlong. Surge Capacity finally found her way into the clear as the wire loomed and finished with a late flourish to just edge her stablemate in the dying strides.

Surge Capacity's completed the race in 1:33.95, the fastest mile grass race of the meeting.

“She's a fighter, you know, she likes to run,” said winning rider Joel Rosario. “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. She is a very nice horse.”

Surge Capacity, a debut winner over the Monmouth lawn in June, quickly added a graded stakes victory to her resume in the July 21 GIII Lake George S. She suffered her lone defeat to date when second behind Aspray (Quality Road) in the Aug. 19 GII Lake Placid S., but rebounded to win the Oct. 27 GIII Valley View S. at Keeneland last time out.

“She has always trained like a really good horse,” Brown said of the winner. “She didn't run at two because she had some sore shins, but she is a beautiful horse. And a little bonus, she is by Flintshire, who I was lucky enough to train his last year in training and he was a champion turf horse. He was a really remarkable horse and this filly seems to be one of his best offspring. And I trained her mother and a lot of the siblings.”

Brown said he was impressed with all four of his Matriarch runners.

“Beaute Cachee had trouble around the eighth pole and then found her stride again and kicked on to be third which, watching the replay, was a really remarkable run by her,” he said. “And then when you look at Whitebeam, she was much closer to the pace then we had planned on being. For her to still hang on for fourth after being right on a very fast pace, I thought was a really good race. That was not the plan at all. Flavien [Prat] said afterwards that he didn't think they were going that fast and she was doing it comfortably, but it's really not the trip that she wants and the fact that she was able to hang on for a minor award showed that she ran a great race because she had every right to cave and fall back through the field as the wire came up, given how fast the pace was. All four horses ran terrific.”

Still the trainer admitted the photo finish between the winner and runner-up was a little bittersweet.

“It's always a difficult position when it's your two horses going for the wire in a Grade I race. I was pleased that it was my horses in the stretch, all four of them battling down there to try to win. But it was slightly bittersweet with Fluffy Socks being the 5-year-old of the two in the photo versus the 3-year-old. Not that I would pick between them, but once the result was up, I have to feel for Fluffy Socks a little bit because she is such a courageous, consistent horse who is in the later stages of her career. And it would have been nice to see her win a Grade I, but on the other hand, that's horse racing. And Surge Capacity really ran a terrific race.”

Pedigree Notes:

Surge Capacity is one of three graded winners for her sire Flintshire (GB) (Dansili {GB}), Eclipse champion turf horse of 2016, and she is his first Grade I winner. The stallion's son Verbal won the GIII Cecil B DeMille on this same card in 2021.

Klaravich Stable purchased Surge Capacity's dam Strong Incentive for $200,000 at the 2014 OBS April sale. Racing for the partnership of Seth Klarman's Klaravich and William Lawrence, the bay won two of six starts, including the 2015 Jammed Lovely S.

Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan purchased the mare on behalf of Klaravich as part of the dissolution of the partnership for $40,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale. The mare's 2-year-old daughter Ways and Means (Practical Joke) was second in this year's GI Spinaway S. in the Klaravich colors. Put through the ring at Fasig-Tipton November last month, Strong Incentive sold in foal to Good Magic for $2.15 million to Alpha Delta Stables.


Sunday, Del Mar
MATRIARCH S.-GI, $303,500, Del Mar, 12-3, 3yo/up, f/m, 1mT, 1:33.95, fm.
1–SURGE CAPACITY, 120, f, 3, by Flintshire (GB)
                1st Dam: Strong Incentive (SW, $123,568),
                                by Warrior's Reward
                2nd Dam: G G's Dolly, by Comic Strip
                3rd Dam: Parfait, by Kingmambo
1ST GRADE I WIN. O/B-Klaravich Stables (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown; J-Joel Rosario. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 5-4-1-0,
$518,975. *1/2 to Highly Motivated (Into Mischief), GSW,
$667,375; and Ways and Means (Practical Joke), GISP,
$117,750. Werk Nick Rating: B+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Fluffy Socks, 123, m, 5, by Slumber (GB)
                1st Dam: Breakfast Time, by Kitten's Joy
                2nd Dam: Costume Designer, by Capote
                3rd Dam: Ravnina, by Nureyev
O/B-Head Of Plains Partners (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $60,000.
3–Beaute Cachee (Fr), 123, f, 4, by Literato (Fr)
                1st Dam: Sign And Seal (Ire), by Hurricane Run (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Seraphine (Ger), by Dashing Blade (GB)
                3rd Dam: Sovereign Touch (Ire), by Pennine Walk (Ire)
'20 ARQAU). O-Madaket Stables LLC, Michael Dubb and Louis
Lazzinnaro LLC; B-Gregor Vischer (FR); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: HD, 1HF, HD. Odds: 4.70, 6.10, 18.70.
Also Ran: Whitebeam (GB), Ruby Nell, Closing Remarks, Elm Drive, Gracelund Gray, Queen Goddess, Hamwood Flier (Ire), Wakanaka (Ire), Elounda Queen (Ire).
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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