, a $5,000 late nominee, scored the biggest upset in the history of the Grade I, $250,000 Matriarch Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Owned by Godolphin Racing LLC, trained by
Tom Albertrani and ridden by Eddie Castro, Better Lucky, a daughter of
Ghostzapper, returned $72.20 for the most significant victory of her
career. This easily eclipsed the $63.40 Duda paid when she won the 1995
Matriarch for owner Madeleine Paulson and Hall of Fame trainer Bill
Content to track while Summer Soiree opened a clear advantage
through the first six furlongs, Better Lucky gained the lead inside the
final eighth of a mile and repelled the late bid of 7-1 shot Tiz
Flirtatious to win by one length.
Completing the mile in 1:34.18, Better Lucky, who is out of the
Seeking the Gold mare Sahara Gold, earned her fourth win in nine starts
and pushed her earnings to $438,950. She’s 2-for-5 on grass and became
the seventh 3-year-old filly – and second in a row – to win the
“I had a good break, but I got really scared when (Dayatthespa) had
trouble near the fence,’’ said Castro after his first Betfair Hollywood
Park stakes win. “My filly gave me a real nice kick and that was good
enough to win today.
Never higher than 15-1 in her career, Better Lucky was dismissed
Sunday even though she had finished only 2 ½ lengths behind Dayatthespa,
who was fifth in the Matriarch, in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II
Challenge Cup Oct. 13 at Keeneland.
“I was surprised at her odds,’’ said Godolphin’s racing manager
Jimmy Bell. “I really felt if they (the betting public) respected
Dayatthespa, you wouldn’t necessarily think that we would be a 30-1
shot. She’s really blossomed.
“This is certainly a great way to cap off this year. She’s very
game, tries and is dead honest. I would think she’d surely be racing
Trying to become the first California bred winner of the Matriarch,
Tiz Flirtatious rallied strongly in the final quarter of a mile to
finish 2 ¼ lengths in front of 21-1 outsider Summer Soiree, who was
making what will probably be her final start for Team Valor
International and trainer H. Graham Motion.
Tiz Flirtatious, who is undefeated in four races against state
breds, paid $8.00 and $5.80 while the show price on Summer Soiree, who
finished second in the 2011 Matriarch, was $9. The longshot trifecta was
worth $3,018.80 for $1.
Dayattthespa, the 17-10 favorite who entered with five consecutive
turf wins in 2012, finished a neck behind fourth place finisher Future
Her subpar performance came after some self-caused trouble early in the race.
“She was scared a little bit running inside of horses,’’ said jockey
Javier Castellano, who did well to remain aboard the daughter of City
Zip when she propped. “She got shy of that other horse (Future
Generation) and jumped out around the first turn. She wasn’t the same
Rafael Bejarano, who rode Tiz Flirtatious for the first time since
he was aboard for her debut win nearly 14 months ago, thought
Dayatthespa’s antics cost Tiz Flirtatious the win.
“I had a good trip, but it cost me the race when she hit the rail
and forced me to come out,’’ he said. “I think my horse would have won
if it not for that incident.’’
Emulous, the 2-1 second choice, never got involved after leaving
slowly in her United States debut. Defending champion Star Billing and
Vamo a Galupiar completed the order of finish.