Regal Glory winning the Matriarch Stakes Nov. 28, 2021 (Benoit Photo)
Mac McBride/DMTC News
DEL MAR, Calif.—Last year when Regal Glory came out to Del Mar for the G1 Matriarch, she had never won a grade 1 race. She changed that with a dominating wire-to-wire score. The 6-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom returns to the seaside oval Sunday with a couple more grade 1’s in her pocket as she defends her crown against nine other rivals in the one-mile turf race.
Since that win last year, Regal Glory has added two more grade 1 victories to her resume. In fact, she put together a string of four straight wins starting with the Matriarch. She kicked off her 2022 campaign with a win in the G3 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park in January, followed by back-to-back grade 1 wins in the Jenny Wiley at Keeneland, and the Just A Game at Belmont Park.
Trainer Chad Brown then threw her in against the boys in the G1 Fourstardave at Saratoga and she gave a good account of herself, finishing second to Casa Creed.
“She’s really come on with age,” Brown says. “She’s gotten better which you love to see with your racehorses. They don’t all do that. She’s everything you can ask for from a trainer’s point of view.”
Regal Glory has been in Brown’s barn since 2018.
“I’ve had her since she was a 2-year-old,” he says. “She’s 6 right now. She was sent to me originally by her breeder, Paul Pompa, Jr. He passed away a couple of years ago and Peter Brandt ended up buying the filly and kept her in training with me and she’s had a wonderful career.”
The numbers tell the story. This year she has raced six times and compiled a 3-2-0 record and $1,134,250 in earnings. For her career, she is 12-6-0 in 22 starts with earnings of $2,379,134.
She has Eclipse Award credentials, but Brown didn’t bring her out to Del Mar to try seal the vote with a win. He says he’s simply here to win the last grade one grass race of the year.
“It fits in the calendar nicely,” he says. “There are no other turf options and she won the race last year.”
In fact, Brown believes another horse in his stable may eventually win the Eclipse for top female grass horse.
“I’d say right now her stablemate, In Italian, would be the leader in that division, from her body of work,” notes Brown. “So potentially, if she (Regal Glory) wins this race she could enter the conversation.”
Admittedly, Regal Glory’s Breeders’ Cup performance didn’t help sway any voters.
“She didn’t have a great trip there,” Brown says of her 10th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. “She was wide. It wasn’t a trip that was going to work out for her. We’re just going to draw a line through it and hopefully she saves a little ground this time around.”
The Matriarch will be Regal Glory’s finale. Brown says she will be retired after the race.
Also making the trip out to Del Mar for Brown for the Matriarch is Dolce Zel, winner of the G3 Lake George at Saratoga this summer.
“Only a 3-year-old filly,” Brown says, “stepping up against older horses for the first time. She has a tricky draw, a little outside but she seems to be training really well, so we’ll see.”
Brown has won four of the last five runnings of the Matriarch, which was first run at Hollywood Park in 1981. It goes off as the seventh race on the nine-race closing day card. First post is 12:30 p.m.
|The Matriarch Field|
|1 Bipartisanship (GB) Joe Bravo Graham Motion 10-1|
|2 England’s Rose Victor Espinoza John Shirreffs 12-1|
|3 Eddie’s New Dream Mario Gutierrez Ben D. A. Cecil 20-1|
|4 Gold For Kitten Hector Berrios John Sadler 20-1|
|5 Hamwood Flier (IRE) Mike Smith Phil D’Amato 5-1|
|6 Regal Glory Flavien Prat Chad Brown 8/5|
|7 Wakanaka (IRE) Joel Rosario Bill Mott 5-1|
|8 Pizza Bianca Umberto Rispoli Christophe Clement 6-1|
|9 Dolce Zel Irad Ortiz Jr Chad Brown 6-1|
|10 Avenue de France (FR) Juan Hernandez Leonard Powell 15-1|