A Competitive Matriarch Stakes

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, November 29, 2020

Last year, JULIET FOXTROT (PP: 5 ML 4-1) finished third in the 2019 Matriarch Sakes. The mare stalked the frontrunners, fourth of 11 at the quarter and half mile markers. Going three-wide out of the final turn, she took the lead into the stretch, dove to the rail, and gave up the lead in the final sixteenth.

Jockey Mike Smith gets on the five-year-old for the first time to see if he can guide JULIET FOXTROT to this year's Matriarch title. She'll be trying for her fifth win in 11 races since coming the US from Great Britain. While she's no stranger to the winners' circle, she's yet to visit Del Mar's for a photo session; although, she has a second and last year's Matriarch third in two tries at the southern California track.

JULIET FOXTROT appears to be one of the top contenders in what looks to be a wide-open race without a clear favorite. Six of the nine fillies and mares have morning line odds of 8-1 or less. VIADERA (PP: 6 ML 7/2) is the oddsmaker's choice as the pre-race favorite. But, as you can see, she's a lukewarm selection at best.

The four-year-old daughter of BATED BREATH (GB) will be making her fourth start for trainer Chad Brown since arriving from Ireland and England. She struggled in her US debut but has won her last two efforts. Both of the W's came at 1 mile on turf, just like today. Without question, 1 mile is her route of choice, cashing the winners' check in four of four tries, which includes tying for the top, last race speed figure.

BLOWOUT (PP: 4 ML 4-1) is the other to hit the highest number on the speed gun in her last outing. It was her third straight runner-up finish for trainer Chad Brown, missing by a neck in her last pair. Close at the wire is a familiar place for her as she's three necks, a head, a couple of ½ lengths and ¾ lengths away from winning her first 10 starts. Hmm, I am not sure if that's good or bad; good that she's always close and in the money; bad that she's win adverse of late.

Brown's third, and final, horse in this group is TAMAHERE (PP: 9 ML 4-1). The youngest horse of the nine will be making her second US start after winning her debut at Belmont Park on October 10th. Like today, the New York win was at 1 mile on grass, which she has run in six of her seven career starts. The half dozen at the distance and surface includes three wins, a pair of seconds and a third. Minus the Belmont effort, all the others were in France.

SHARING (PP: 3 ML 5-1) is yet another that gets along well with 1 mile on turf, taking the checkered flag in three of four with a second. The lone second was two back when she headed over to Ascot in Great Britain for the GI, Coronation Stakes. She returned to the US to win the GII, Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs, her fifth consecutive win on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

MAXIM RATE (PP: 2 ML 8-1) is the last of the ladies with odds under 10-1. She's been boom or bust at Del Mar with two wins and nothing else in five tries. Trainer Simon Callaghan appears to have unlocked the secret for the four-year-old in 2020 with three wins and two seconds in five starts. Last year. She had a couple of wins and a second in eight efforts. Her last run was one of her best, going away from the pack at the wire despite a sluggish start.

As you can see, the 2020 Matriarch Sakes is up for grabs but our friends at Guaranteed Tip Sheet kindly shared their commentary to hopefully help put them in order.

"MAXIM RATE has four Ws in seven races at the distance. JULIET FOXTROT won her last, trainer Brad Cox follows a win with another at 28%. BLOWOUT has two seconds and three thirds in five at the distance. VIADERA has won two in a row and is four and 0 at the distance."


Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.