Surge Capacity and jockey Joel Rosario win Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar – Orange County Register

Maybe there’s something in that ocean air, the sea breeze that can be felt at Del Mar that brings out the best in not only the horses but their trainers. Or maybe there’s something in the water.

Whatever it is, trainer Chad Brown pulled off a Del Mar first Sunday, sending out the top four finishers in the $300,000 Grade I Matriarch Stakes for fillies and mares as the seaside oval wrapped up its Turf Festival and 13-day Bing Crosby fall meet.

Trainer Philip D’Amato, who along with Brown excels with turf runners, duplicated Brown’s feat in this past summer’s Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar, but that superfecta came in a Grade II race. Brown decided to one up his counterpart Sunday.

Brown has been so successful in the Matriarch that track officials might consider renaming the race in his honor. It was the 44-year-old East Coast-based trainer’s fourth consecutive victory in the race and sixth in the past seven years. He won with Regal Glory in 2021 and ’22.

Surge Capacity, a 3-year-old Flintshire filly, must have enjoyed the mid-60’s degree temperatures, receiving a daring rail-skimming ride by Joel Rosario to beat stablemate Fluffy Socks by a head as the 9-2 third choice and scoring her first Grade I victory in her first stakes try against older horses.

Final time for the 1 mile over a firm turf course was 1:33.95 — the fastest mile grass race of the meet.

“It was a little like last time,” Rosario said of his filly’s victory in the Grade III Valley View Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 27 when she also won with a rail-skimming ride. “She’s a fighter, you know. She likes to run. She likes the competition. I kind of had no choice but to stay inside. I was just trying to save some ground and then go from there. I was very lucky.”

Brown assistant Jose Hernandez, who saddled Program Trading to win the Grade I Hollywood Derby for his boss Saturday, noted that Surge Capacity seems to like to sit inside behind horses.

“The same thing in Keeneland,” he said. “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.”

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