Tom Albertrani: excited about potential of Better LuckyPICTURE: Getty Images
Godolphin strike again with Better Lucky
Report: USA, Sunday
Hollywood Park: Matriarch Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+ f/m
ONLY 24 hours after Dance Card had scored for Godolphin in New York, 35-1 outsider Better Lucky (Tom Albertrani/Eddie Castro) became the Dubai team's seventh Grade 1 winner of the US season in the Matriarch, where the Dermot Weld-trained Emulous was only sixth.
The daughter of Ghostzapper joined It's Tricky (Ogden Phipps), Questing (CCA Oaks and Alabama Stakes), Alpha (Travers dead-heat), Emcee (Forego) and Dance Card (Gazelle) in scoring at the top level this term for Godolphin's hand-picked American contingent, which barely numbers double figures.
The other six Grade 1 scorers came from Kiaran McLaughlin's barn but Better Lucky was saddled by former Godolphin assistant Tom Albertrani.
"She was very impressive," said the trainer. "She was much the best and has a great future ahead of her as a four-year-old. She has been very consistent in her races and achieved an excellent victory today. She will spend the winter in Florida."
Better Lucky raced in fourth before closing on the leader Summer Soiree on the far turn and hitting the front a furlong out, after which she held far too many guns for the closing Tiz Flirtatious, beaten a length into second.
"She's really blossomed, which gives us something to look forward to," added Godolphin's Jimmy Bell. "This is certainly a great way to cap off this year."
Second favourite Emulous,a Group 1 winner last term, had little chance after missing the break under Pat Smullen.
Market leader Dayatthespa, bidding for a six-timer, lost all chance in a bizarre incident on the back stretch when she tried to jump the inside rail, hampering Tiz Flirtatious in the process.
Also on Sunday
Hollywood Park: Hollywood Derby (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo
The Jeremy Noseda-trained Grandeur may have been a slightly unlucky loser here behind Unbridled Command (Tom Bush/Javier Castellano), who won his fifth race in a row in the closing event of Hollywood's three-day turf festival.
Twilight Derby winner Grandeur, sent off 7-2 favourite, closed six wide from the rear in a 14-runner field but the 7-1 winner had got first run and scored by a length and a half.
"It wasn't the smoothest of trips," said jockey Garrett Gomez. "The winner snuck away from us."
Grandeur may now run in the Hollywood Turf Cup over 1m4f on December 15.
French-trained Rjwa took fourth in Sunday's race but Dermot Weld's Speaking Of Which was last after meeting trouble.