Chad Brown had to wait for the outcome of a photo finish to find out which of his trainees had given him his third win in the $301,500 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar on November 29.
It was eventually announced that the least fancied of his three fillies, Viadera who was sent off at 54/10, had succeeded under Joel Rosario by a nose. She closed late to deny her stablemate Blowout who started at marginally shorter odds of 47/10.
The Grade 1 Matriarch is raced over a mile on turf for three-year-old and older fillies and mares. The victorious four-year-old daughter of Bated Breath was bred by her owners, Juddmonte Farms, out of Sacred Shield, a moderately talented but extremely consistent daughter of Beat Hollow.
Juddmonte’s internationally well-known green, pink and white silks were also carried by the third placed Juliet Foxtrot who was beaten half a length. Saddled by Brad Cox and ridden by Mike Smith for the first time, this five-year-old daughter of Dansili was also home bred. She was considered to have a decent chance of victory coming into the race after a win in a Grade 3 at Pimlico in early October and started at odds of 6/1.
Graham Motion’s Sharing, the second favorite at 33/10, took fourth under Manny Franco. He rode this three-year-old close to the pace but she lacked the finishing kick of leading trio. Sharing won at the highest level as a juvenile and was last seen scoring in the Grade 2 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs in September against her contemporaries. Her 3lb allowance for age was not enough to give her the edge over her elders.
Maxim Rate was the last filly in the money, beaten two lengths into fifth partnered by Umberto Rispoli for Simon Callaghan. Brown’s top duo provided some compensation for his disappointing 11/5 favorite Tamahere who failed to fire and finished half a length behind Maxim Rate. This talented three-year-old daughter of Wootton Bassett won a listed race on soft ground in June when saddled by Francois Rohaut in France. She won her first and only other start for Brown in the Grade 2 Sands Points Stakes at Belmont Park in October.
Viadera also began her racing career in Europe. She scored three times when trained by Ger Lyons in Ireland, including a listed race in July 2019 but was disappointing in her next two starts there. After an absence of 266 days from the racetrack she finished fourth on what was probably unsuitably soft ground in the Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont Park in June.
It was a very different story when she went on to win the Grade 3 Nobel Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park in late September. She was sent off at 11/2 and beat the more fancied Blowout, the 2/1 favorite, by the more easily discernable distance of a neck. Her starting prices suggest that Viadera is not the most impressive in her race preparation work-outs. Rosario said that he had to push and push some more to get her to give everything in the Matriarch. If Viadera continues to take it easy at home and save her best work for the track she could be a profitable horse for bettors again.