West Coast mission accomplished for Chad Brown & Co.
Sending some of his turf horses to Del Mar for the final weekend of the meet, the New York-based trained came away with a Grade 1 sweep – on Saturday, it was Program Training winning the $300,000 Hollywood Derby and on Sunday it was Surge Capacity taking the $300,000 Matriarch.
Not only did Brown win his sixth Matriarch in seven years, he also pulled off a superperfecta as his other entries, Fluffy Socks, Beaute Cachee, and Whitebeam, ran second, third, and fourth.
The Matriarch produced quite a finish. Surge Capacity was seventh of 12 and at the rail as the field made the final turn. Jockey Joel Rosario spotted a small opening inside of early leader Graceland Gray in the upper stretch, then edged past Whitebeam in late stretch and hung on for a head victory over fast-closing Fluffy Socks.
“She’s a fighter, you know; she likes to run. She likes the competition,’’ Rosario said. “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.”
Surge Capacity ($11.40 on a $2 win bet) covered the mile in 1:33.95 over a firm track. It was the first time a trainer finished 1-2-3-4 in a Grade 1 race at Del Mar.
A 3-year-old bay daughter Flintshire who did not race as a 2-year-old, improved to 5-4-1-0 and boosted her earnings to $518,975 for owner Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables, also the owner of Hollywood Derby winner Program Training.
Sent off as the 9-10 favorite in a field of seven, Program Trading ($3.80) held off the challenge of Webslinger for a neck victory, giving Brown his fourth win in this race.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, the 3-year-old ridgling took the lead from Silver Knott at the eighth pole and boosted his record to 5-4-1-0 and earnings to $695,250.
“He relaxed well; he had a good turn of foot,’’ Prat said. “Luckily, there was a horse in front of me that bolted around the turn, so I had a clear path. As soon as I asked him to make a run, he was there for me. I think he will still improve. He has run well every time.”
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.