Providing jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Chad Brown with a sweep of Del Mar’s two Grade I stakes events on closing weekend, Great Britain-bred Uni rallied from next-to-last with a blazing burst of speed in the stretch to win the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes Sunday, closing day of the 16-day fall racing season.
Content to allow Uni to lag in the early stages of the one-mile race over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course, Rosario steered his mount to the outside at the top of the stretch and the four-year-old daughter of More Than Ready responded brilliantly to overhaul 25-1 longshot Daddy Is a Legend in the last half-dozen strides and win by a length in 1:34.35.
Daddy Is a Legend, piloted by Manny Franco, appeared all over a winner until overtaken by the winner and was a length and one-quarter in front of third-place Quidura, also trained by Brown. The 2-1 favored Vasilika was a neck farther back in fourth in pursuit of her ninth straight victory. Withdrawn from the race for older fillies and mares was Ms Bad Behavior.
Uni, owned by Head of Plains Partners and Bethlehem Stables, scored her fourth consecutive stakes win in four starts this year. Sent off at 5-1, Uni paid $13.20, $6.40 and $5 while earning $180,000 to swell her bankroll to $892,880. Daddy Is a Legend paid $16.40 and $10.80, while Quidura returned $6.40.
Raging Bull Wins Hollywood Derby
With a devastating rally in the stretch, 9-5 favored Raging Bull, an Eastern invader piloted by Joel Rosario, powered past a game River Boyne in the final strides to win the Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby Saturday at Del Mar.
In scoring his third victory on the program, Rosario was content to allow Raging Bull to cruise along near the rear of the 13-horse field in the early furlongs before turning him loose on the far turn to burst into contention from the outside. Taking dead aim on the 5-2 supported River Boyne, who had surged to the lead in the upper stretch, Raging Bull overhauled his rival nearing the wire to win by a half-length in 1:48.34 for the mile and one-eighth over the infield grass course.
River Boyne, who was piloted by Flavien Prat, was courageous in defeat, finishing two and three-quarter lengths ahead of third-place Instilled Regard, with Prince Earl fourth. Californiagoldrush was withdrawn from the original field.
Hollywood Derby Replay
Chad Brown, the nation’s leading trainer thus far in 2018, conditions Raging Bull as well as Instilled Regard, who was third. Brown won the 2016 Hollywood Derby with Annals of Time.
Raging Bull, a French-bred son of Dark Angel owned by Peter Brant, scored his fifth victory in seven starts and first money of $180,000 increased the bay colt’s earnings to $584,500. He returned $5.80, $3.40 and $2.80. River Boyne paid $3.40 and $2.80, while Instilled Regard returned $4.40 to show.
Rosario, who rode in the West with success for several years before relocating on the East coast, preceded his Hollywood Derby success with wins in the third race, aboard Eddie Haskell ($5), and Sauce On Side ($7.80) in the sixth.