Surge Capacity, Half to Highly Motivated, Tops Brown-Trained Matriarch Superfecta
Author: Tracy Gantz
RSS Feeds Sunday, December 3, 2023

Because trainer Chad Brown had won five of the past six Matriarch Stakes (G1T) at Del Mar, no one was going to be surprised to see him win it again Dec. 3. But instead of simply winning the race with Surge Capacity , Brown managed a superfecta—his four runners leading the rest of the 12-horse field across the finish line.

Surge Capacity at 3 is the youngest and least experienced of Brown's 2023 Matriarch runners, but she certainly has heart. She came through the narrowest of openings on the rail for jockey Joel Rosario in a move reminiscent of her victory in the Oct. 27 Valley View Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland to edge stablemate Fluffy Socks , who had mounted her own big run from the outside. Beaute Cachee  finished third followed by Whitebeam  in fourth.

Surge Capacity, dk b/br, 3/f
Flintshire (GB) — Strong Incentive, by Warrior's Reward

Owner: Klaravich Stables, Inc.
Breeder: Klaravich Stables (KY)
Trainer: Chad C. Brown
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.

Pedigree Notes
Flintshire (GB) stands at Hill 'n' Dale Farms for $7,500 (2022).

Longshot Gracelund Gray  took the early lead in the one-mile Matriarch over Whitebeam, who not only was favored of Brown's runners but was the overall favorite at 9-5. Beaute Cachee, Brown's longest shot at 18-1, raced in midpack, while 4-1 Surge Capacity and 6-1 Fluffy Socks were well back early.

Rosario, who has ridden Surge Capacity in all of her earlier stakes attempts, cut over early from post 3. Surge Capacity hugged the rail, and by the time the field negotiated the second turn, she had seven to beat.

"I kind of had no choice but to stay inside," said Rosario. "I was just trying to save the ground and then go from there."

Rosario spied a minuscule opening inside of Gracelund Gray at the eighth pole and asked Surge Capacity to go through it. By then Whitebeam had taken command, and once Surge Capacity passed Gracelund Gray, she also had to race inside of Whitebeam.

Klaravich Stables' Surge Capacity and jockey Joel Rosario, front, win the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes Sunday, December 3, 2023 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA.Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo
Surge Capacity and Joel Rosario strike the front en route to winning the Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar

As that scenario unfolded, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. had Fluffy Socks flying on the outside. Coming to the wire, Surge Capacity dueled with Fluffy Socks, outgaming her by a head in 1:33.95 on the firm turf. Beaute Cachee bumped with a rival in the upper stretch and managed to rally for third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Fluffy Socks and a head in front of Whitebeam.

"She's a fighter, you know—she likes to run," said Rosario. "She likes the competition."

Jose Hernandez, Brown's assistant, noted that the Matriarch was very similar to the Valley View.

"She got in trouble, and then when she gets in the clear, she just takes off," Hernandez said. "It's just her—I've never seen that before. Fillies get intimidated a little bit, but when she gets in the clear, she just takes off again."

Klaravich Stables&#39; Surge Capacity and jockey Joel Rosario, right, outfinish stablemate Fluffy Socks (Irad Ortiz, Jr. up) to  win the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes Sunday, December 3, 2023 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA.<br>
Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo
Surge Capacity after winning the Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar

Surge Capacity earned her fourth race in five career starts. In addition to the Valley View, she captured the July 21 Lake George Stakes (G3T) and ran second in the Aug. 19 Lake Placid Stakes (G2T), both at Saratoga Race Course

Surge Capacity not only led the Brown quartet in the Matriarch, she gave the trainer and her owner, Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables, a Del Mar grade 1 double on the weekend. Those are also the connections of Dec. 2 Hollywood Derby (G1T) winner Program Trading .

The victory gives Brown four consecutive Matriarch winners and six of the past seven editions. Brown has been affiliated with the race well before that because he was an assistant to the late Bobby Frankel, who won it eight times from 1996-2007.

Klaravich Stables&#39; Surge Capacity and jockey Joel Rosario, right, outfinish stablemate Fluffy Socks (Irad Ortiz, Jr. up) to  win the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes Sunday, December 3, 2023 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA.<br>
Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo
Connections of Surge Capacity in the Del Mar winner's circle

Klaravich bred Surge Capacity in Kentucky from the Warrior's Reward mare Strong Incentive , who raced for Klaravich and William H. Lawrence. Trained by Brown, Strong Incentive won the 2015 Jammed Lovely Stakes at Woodbine. The mare has produced four starters, all winners, including 2022 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) winner Highly Motivated and 2-year-old Ways and Means , second in this year's Spinaway Stakes (G1) for Klaravich and Brown.

Brown also trained Flintshire , the sire of Surge Capacity, late in that runner's career. A Juddmonte homebred, Flintshire was the 2016 champion grass horse. The stallion's runners include 2021 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3T) winner Verbal  and 2021 Prix Noailles (G3) winner Cheshire Academy . Flintshire stands for €6,000 ($6,054) at Haras de Montaigu in France.

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