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HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne

Egg Drop Caps Big Holiday Weekend at Hollywood Park

Egg Drop Matriarch 615 X 400
Photo: Benoit Photos

 

Two grey mares capped off the final Hollywood Turf Festival at Betfair Hollywood Park Sunday with a thrilling stretch run in the Grade 1 Matriarch, one that ended with Egg Drop splattering big prices all over the tote board.


The 4-year-old daughter of Alphabet Soup got out to a clear lead early on and sailed down the backstretch through moderate fractions under Martin Garcia. Despite coming in off back-to-back wins in graded stakes company, Egg Drop went off at odds of more than 10-1, and she looked a bit weary as the field straightened into the stretch.
 

Meanwhile, Discreet Marq had swept to the lead and appeared bound for her second Grade 1 win of the year. She and Rafael Bejarano were in full flight for the wire, but back came Egg Drop, who erased a half-length deficit in mid-stretch, drew even with her rival, and got her nose down on the wire. 
 

In addition to Discreet Marq, Egg Drop defeated a field that included top-class mares Better Lucky, Dayatthespa, and Tiz Flirtatious, who finished third, fourth, and fifth. The win was her sixth in 12 lifetime starts, and Mike Mitchell trains her for Little Red Feather Racing.
 

Elsewhere, here were some of the other headlines from this past weekend in Inglewood.
 
  • The final Hollywood Derby contested at Hollywood Park was won by Seek Again, who was making his North American debut for trainer John Gosden. Last seen winning at York in October, the son of Speightstown rated in eighth early on under Corey Nakatani before shooting up the rail to prevail by a length and a half over 3-1 favorite Admiral Kitten in the 10-furlong Grade I event.


  • Saturday boasted the Generous and Miesque stakes races for 2-year-olds going long on the grass. Global View and jockey Joe Talamo rallied from fourth to take the Generous, while 12-1 shot Full Ransom went from last to first in the Miesque (for fillies). The Miesque saw one of the heaviest favorites of the weekend, 4/5 choice Clenor, but the Doug O'Neill trainee had no late run and could only manage a fifth-place finish.


  • Last seen running a huge third behind Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile, Silentio returned with a bang in the Grade II Citation Handicap. The 3/2 favorite raced sixth behind honest early fractions before rallying turning for home, but the battle was joined by Summer Front and jockey Joe Bravo. Those two, and eventual third-place finisher Winning Prize, battled through the stretch, and Silentio ultimately got the benefit of the head bob on the wire for Wertheimer et Frere and trainer Gary Mandella.


  • Another Breeders' Cup runner, Majestic Stride, took the Thanksgiving Day feature, the Grade III Vernon O. Underwood. Fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint behind Secret Circle, the gelding by Trippi prompted the pace before drawing clear in the lane and looking every bit the 3/5 favorite in winning by more than two lengths under Edwin Maldonado. It's the first graded stakes win for the Jeff Bonde trainee, who also chased Secret Circle in the 2012 Southwest Stakes last spring at Oaklawn Park.

 

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Meet Andrew Champagne

 

A native of upstate New York and a graduate of Ithaca College, Andrew Champagne fell in love with horse racing at a very early age on summer trips to Saratoga. His turf writing credits include time spent as a sportswriter, weekly columnist, and handicapper at The Saratogian, a summer working for The Saratoga Special, and "field research" at OTB facilities in Saratoga Springs and his hometown of Kingston. He also spent two years in the athletic communications office at Siena College, and interned with NBC Olympics at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.


Andrew moved to Pasadena, Calif., in October of 2013, and now serves as an Associate Producer in HRTV's Digital Media department and Horse Racing Nation's Southern California writer. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewChampagne, and email him at andrewdchampagne@gmail.com.