Quills Picks Winners – Sunday 12/3: Matriarch Stakes

By Joe Quillen


Sunday is closing day “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” and their closing day feature is the Grade I Matriarch going one mile on the turf course. A full field of 12 fillies and mares is entered for this battle on the Del Mar lawn.

First let’s look at who should or could be on the lead battling it out. The 2 Hamwood Flier (12/1 morning line) was on the lead last out over Breeders’ Cup Weekend in the Grade 2 Goldikova but tends to tire in the stretch, at least from what I see in the races that she ran here in America.

The 4 Gracelund Gray has been showing front end speed in optional/allowance claiming races the last two times out and won’t get that 23.35 opening quarter mile time in this race. There’s a reason why this filly is 20/1 on the morning line and should be outclassed in this Grade I race.

The 7 Ruby Nell (8/1 ML) is a Richard Mandella traine who won the Autumn Miss at Santa Anita last time out over Breeders’ Cup weekend, and ran a career high Beyer Speed Figure of 95 last time out (one day I’ll have to explain the Beyer Speed Figure thing). She did win staking two back at Santa Anita on October 1 in the Unzip Me, but the trends of the last 4 races show she should be on the front end as well. She gunned for the lead last time out after stumbling and led all the way around, but is there too much speed of front for Sunday’s feature?

This race is screaming for a stalker or closer to win this race. But you know what they say, they don’t run these races on paper or whatever you refer to to play the races. Trainer Chad Brown has four entries here in the 3 Surge Capacity (8/1 ML), the 5 Whitebeam who won the Grade I Diana at Saratoga and probably needed her last race in the Grade I First Lady in October in Keeneland. French bred Beaute Cachee (#6, 8/1 ML) should be with the other Chad Brown distaffers ready to pass the tiring speed horses as is the 10 Fluffy Socks (5/1 ML). This has the potential to be Chad Brown having all 4 of his horses on the board.

The 11 Closing Remarks (6/1 ML) is my choice here in this Grace 1. She won the aforementioned Goldikova last out. She won’t have the dream real trip for most of the journey like last time out, but that closing kick will be necessary in this turf test. Let’s go 11-5-10-6 in the Matriarch.

My play: going to play a $20 win bet on the 11 Closing Remarks. Good luck with all your wagers on Sunday!


  • There will be extra Quills Picks Winners articles over the next couple of weeks. I am on vacation from my real job this week, which means more time for me to look at the races for our loyal readers here on Bleacher Brothers.
  • Be on the lookout for an update on the Kentucky Derby prep races this week.  Yes, there are prep races for the horses this far in advance for the 150th Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2024.
  • Check my online stream The Philly Guy Speaks this Tuesday (12/5) at 7 pm and Thursday (12/7) at 8 pm on NoFilter.net. Yes, I do talk things other than horse racing!
  • Finally, and most importantly, check out The Bleacher Brothers Show on the Tony Bruno Sports Network every Monday through Thursday starting on Monday December 4 from 8 to 10 pm. Download the app on the Google Play or Apple App Store, or you can go to tonybrunosportsnetwork.com.

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