Regal Glory wins second straight victory in the Grade I, $401,500 Matriarch Stakes

Regal Glory racing to victory in the Grade I, $401,500 Matriarch Stakes.
Regal Glory racing to victory in the Grade I, $401,500 Matriarch Stakes.
(Kelley Carlson)

Regal Glory took the lead in the stretch and kicked clear of pacesetter Hamwood Flier and the rest of the field in the Grade I, $401,500 Matriarch Stakes on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Del Mar (pictured above). The 6-year-old mare triumphed by 5 1/4 lengths over England’s Rose, with Pizza Bianca a nose behind in third, in the last stakes race of the fall meet.

Under jockey Flavien Prat, Regal Glory ran the mile on the turf in 1:33.60. It was her second straight victory in the Matriarch, and it was also her final race.

“She broke a little slow, and he (Flavien) tried to relax her on the backside, but I don’t worry about it,” said Jose Hernandez, assistant trainer for Chad Brown. “Those kind of fillies just kick off, and it was amazing. We’re going to miss her. We’ve had a lot of nice moments, a lot of nice races.”

The 6-year-old Regal Glory is owned by Peter Brant.

Earlier on the card, Prat rode Speed Boat Beach - whose owners include part-time Del Mar resident Mike Pegram - to victory in the Grade III, $101,500 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes.

Other stakes winners during the track’s closing weekend included Speaking Scout (Grade I, $400,000 Hollywood Derby), owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which is led by Aron Wellman of Rancho Santa Fe; Liguria (Grade III, $103,500 Jimmy Durante Stakes); and Turn On The Jets ($101,500 Stormy Liberal Stakes), co-owned by Michael Nentwig of Del Mar.

Prat secured his sixth Del Mar riding title with 24 firsts from 86 mounts during the 13-day meet, while trainer Phil D’Amato won 19 races and was awarded his fourth title at the track.

Del Mar reported that its total handle in 2022 was $744.68 million, a record amount wagered on the track’s races in a non-Breeders’ Cup World Championships year. Meanwhile, total handle for the fall meet was $164.85 million with an average daily handle of $12.68 million, a 4.3 percent decrease from 2021, when Del Mar hosted the Breeders’ Cup.

“We’ve been building momentum over the last few years, working hard to create a wonderful experience for racing fans and the horsemen and women who support our program,” said Joe Harper, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s chief executive officer. “While the business results are positive, we are exceptionally proud that we’ve been able to maintain our status as one of the safest racetracks in the country.”

Racing will return to Del Mar in July for the seaside oval’s 84th summer season.