DEL MAR, Calif. – Chad Brown went to the Bobby Frankel School of Thoroughbred Training. The late Hall of Famer, who left us in 2009, was a demanding teacher – tough taskmaster might be the phrase – and insisted on the very best from his students.
By now it is obvious to all that Brown, the 41-year-old who grew up in a little town in upstate New York that is just a hop and a skip from Saratoga, graduated with honors from BFSTT and has gone on to several advanced degrees. There are more-than-a-few who’d argue that he’s currently the best horse conditioner in the country. (His four straight Eclipse Awards – ’16, ’17, ’18, ’19 – for training speak to that.) And when it comes to training horses to run well on the turf, those more-than-a-few become a-landslide-more-than-a-few.
Del Mar fans can testify to Mr. Brown’s abilities, too. In recent years at the shore oval he’s won nine stakes (seven of them Grade Is), most recently in Thursday’s grassy Red Carpet with Orglandes. For Sunday’s big finale card of the 15-day Bing Crosby Season, Brown has shipped in not one, or two, but three high-caliber fillies to test their mettle in the $300,000, Grade I Matriarch Stakes at one mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course that headlines the 10-race program.
The Brown trio consist of Swift Thoroughbreds, Madaket Stables or Wonder Stables’ Tamahere, Juddmonte Farms’ Viadera and Peter Brant’s Blowout. They’ve been assigned three of the best riders in the country in Irad Ortiz, Jr. (Tamahere), Joel Rosario (Viadera) and Flavien Prat (Blowout).
Additionally, it is noted that Brown is no stranger to the Matriarch. He won it in 2017 with Off Limits and again in 2018 with Uni. The Brown threesome make up a third of the Matriarch lineup.
Eight of the nine Matriarch runners are stakes winners already; six of them come in off stakes victories in their most recent start; a pair of them are Grade I winners already, while three others are Grade I placed; together they’ve earned more than $3.3 million in purses. It is, most certainly, a stellar field.
Besides Brown’s crew, both Juliet Foxtrot and Sharing deserve serious consideration in what will be the seventh local running of the stakes, though the 39th edition overall (the other runnings were held at the late, great Hollywood Park).
Juliet Foxtrot, a 5-year-old by Dansili and the only mare in the field, finished third in last year’s Matriarch behind Got Stormy. The British-bred bay comes into the mile off a tally in the Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico on October 3. She trains out of the barn of Brad Cox.
Sharing came home first in the Edgewood Stakes on grass at Churchill Down on September 4 in her most recent effort. She’s a 3-year-old filly by Speightstown who has won five of her seven starts for trainer Graham Motion
The Matriarch goes as the ninth race on a 10-race program with first post at noon.
The field, click for stats.
Post time 4:00 p.m. PT
1. Mucho Unusual (Abel Cedillo, 10-1)
2. Maxim Rate (Umberto Rispoli, 8-1)
3. Sharing (Manuel Franco, 5-1)
4. Blowout (Flavien Prat, 4-1)
5. Juliet Foxtrot (Mike Smith, 4-1)
6. Viadera (Joel Rosario, 7-2)
7. She’s Our Charm (Juan Hernandez, 30-1)
8. Bodhicitta (Ricardo Gonzalez, 12-1)
9. Tamahere (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 4-1)
Chad Brown (Benoit)