Grade I Matriarch Tops Stakes Tripleheader on Del Mar's Closing Day
Del Mar’s fourth Bing Crosby fall racing season comes to an exciting conclusion Sunday with a stakes tripleheader, highlighted by the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on the grass. Post time for the first of nine races is 12:30 p.m.
The 16-day meeting was marked by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s historic and highly-successful hosting of the rich Breeders’ Cup for the first time in early November.
In addition to the Matriarch Stakes, Sunday’s program also will feature the Grade II $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap for older horses at a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf and the Grade III $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes for two-year-olds at a mile, also on grass.
The Matriarch Stakes attracted a class-laden field of twelve distaff runners with Cambodia, fresh from a bang-up third, beaten less than two lengths by Wuheida in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, the 3-1 morning line choice. Drayden Van Dyke has the call. Last summer, Cambodia, trained by Tom Proctor, won both the Yellow Ribbon Handicap and the John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar.
Cambodia’s strong opposition is headed by the 7-2 second choice, Kitten’s Roar, to be piloted by John Velazquez. Kitten’s Roar was an impressive winner of the Goldikova Stakes on Breeders’ Cup Saturday. Other Matriarch entrants are Mrs McDougal, Javier Castellano; Lull, Flavien Prat; Pretty Girl, Brice Blanc; Belvoir Bay, Kent Desormeaux; Insta Erma, Corey Nakatani; Thundering Sky, Rajiv Maragh; Off Limits, Joel Rosario; Rubinlinda, Jose Ortiz; Hawksmoor, Julien Leparoux, and Miss Julia Star, Antoine Hamelin.
Nine runners will clash in the Seabiscuit Handicap – Mr. Roary, Castellano; Om, Van Dyke; Irish Surf, Gary Stevens; He Will, Mike Smith; Tequila Joe, Rosario; Hunt, Prat; Pee Wee Reese, Joe Talamo; Win the Space, Rafael Bejarano, and Flamboyant, Blanc. Om is the 5-2 morning line favorite, followed by Pee Wee Reese at 3-1.
Eleven two-year-olds were entered in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes – Golden Dragon, Evin Roman; Analyze It, Ortiz; King Eddie, Mario Gutierrez; East Rand, Van Dyke; Armour Plate, Bejarano; Pubilius Syrus, Desormeaux; Magic Musketeer, Castellano; Choo Choo, Rosario; Inscom, Prat; Big Buzz, Nakatani, and Extraordinary Jerry, Kyle Frey.
The Seabiscuit is carded as the third race, the Matriarch as the seventh and the Cecil B. DeMille as the ninth and final race of the day and fall season.