Matriarch Heads Strong Closing-Day Program At Del Mar

by | 11.30.2019 | 11:37am
Toinette and Flavien Prat will try to upstage Got Stormy in Sunday's closing day Matriarch at Del Mar

Del Mar concludes its 2019 Bing Crosby fall racing season with a stakes tripleheader Sunday, topped by a contest of national significance, the Grade 1, $300,000 Matriarch Stakes on the grass for older fillies and mares.

Post time for the first of ten races Sunday will be half-an-hour earlier than usual, at 12 noon PT.

In addition to the Matriarch Stakes which attracted a field of 13 talented female runners, the program also will feature the Grade 3 $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes for 2-year-olds and the Grade 2 $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup for older Thoroughbreds.

Early Matriarch favorite is the hard-hitting and consistent Got Stormy from the barn of trainer Mark Casse. A winner of $1.2 million in her career, the Gary Barber-owned filly comes into Sunday's race off a bang-up second to Uni in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile a month ago at Santa Anita. Tyler Gaffalione has the call.

Her opponents in the one-mile test include local star Toinette, a winner of seven of ten starts who will have Flavien Prat in the saddle; Juliet Fox Trot, Florent Geroux, second to Vasilika, beaten a nose, in the John C. Mabee last summer at Del Mar, and Significant Form, John Velazquez, winner of her last two stakes appearances.

Others in a strong field are Storm the Hill, Rafael Bejarano; Lakerball, Evin Roman; Mucho Unusual, Abel Cedillo; Simply Breathless, Drayden Van Dyke; Painting Corners, Paco Lopez; Daddy Is a Legend, Manny Franco, and Giza Goddess, Brice Blanc.

Morning line favored Goliad will face a dozen fellow juveniles in the DeMille Stakes at one mile over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Prat has the mount on Goliad, trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella. Opposing Goliad will be Hit the Road, Encoder, Kanderel, Hariboux, Albert Park, Fore Left, Liar Liar, War Beast, Midnight Jostar, Smooth Like Strait, Last Opportunity and Go Time.

Prat and Mandella also have the morning line favorite in the mile and one-half Hollywood Turf Cup in United, beaten a head by Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at odds of 51-1.

Nine horses will take on United – Ward'n Jerry, Brown Storm, Zestful, High Promise, Chosen Vessel, Cleopatra's Strike, Oscar Dominguez, Itsinthepost and Overdue.

The Matriarch Stakes is positioned at the seventh race on the getaway card, preceded by the DeMille as the third race and the Hollywood Turf Cup as the fifth.

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