The one-mile event for older fillies and mares is part of a grade I grass doubleheader on the final day of Hollywood’s annual Turf Festival. The 10-race program also includes the $250,000 Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles. Post time is 12:30 p.m. The historic Matriarch, which attracted a field of eight, goes as the fifth race at 2:32 p.m. PST.
Trained by Chad Brown for a partnership that includes Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Dayatthespa is a perfect 5-for-5 in 2012, winning twice at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland and once at Saratoga Race Course.
Three of the victories for the 3-year-old daughter of City Zip and the Doc’s Leader mare M’Lady Doc have been in graded races, capped by a two-length score in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) Oct. 13 at Keeneland. She will be facing older fillies and mares for the first time in the Matriarch.
If successful Sunday, Dayatthespa could become the seventh 3-year-old to win the Matriarch and second in a row, following Star Billing, the upset winner in 2011. She gets a three-pound weight break against her more experienced opponents.
The New York-bred Dayatthespa has won six of eight overall, all on grass, and earned $574,892. She will break from post 5 with Javier Castllano aboard.
Star Billing and Summer Soiree, the 1-2 finishers in the Matriarch a year ago, are back for, respectively, trainers John Shirreffs and H. Graham Motion.
Owned by breeder George Krikorian, Star Billing is trying to become only the second two-time winner of the Matriarch, joining Flawlessly, who won the race three times in succession (1991-93). She caught free-running Summer Soiree late last year for a half-length triumph at odds of 10-1.
A daughter of Dynaformer , Star Billing is winless in four races this season, most recently finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. She’s won three of 11 in her career and banked $415,067.
Owned by Team Valor International, Summer Soiree has started only twice for trainer Graham Motion since her tough defeat in the Matriarch. The 4-year-old War Front filly was third in the Ballston Spa (gr. IIT) Aug. 25 at Saratoga before finishing fourth in the one-mile First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 6 at Keeneland.
A winner of four of seven in 2011, including the grade I Del Mar Oaks, Summer Soiree has earned $476,180 in a career that features five victories in 15 outings.
Trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Patrick Smullen, who won the 2002 Matriarch with Dress to Thrill, are back for another shot with Emulous. She races without Lasix.
A 5-year-old daughter of Dansili, Emulous has won six of 12 for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms and banked $491,182. Juddmonte has won the Matriarch six times, more than any other owner, and the most recent was with Ventura in 2009.
Ventura’s win came shortly after the death of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who won the Matriach a record eight times. It was one of his final wishes that she make the final start of her career in the race.
Irish-bred Future Generation will be seeking her third win in four starts in the U.S. for owners George Bolton and Peter Leidel and trainer Christophe Clement. The 4-year-old was last seen winning the Serena’s Cat by nearly six lengths Oct. 25 at Belmont Park. Ramon Dominguez arrives from New York to ride from the far outside post.
Vamo a Galupiar will try to rebound after finishing last of 13 in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) Oct. 14 at Woodbine. The Chilean-bred mare is owned by Robert S. Evans and trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale. The 5-year-old daughter of Proud Citizen has won twice in 2012 and both wins have come at Santa Anita — the Megahertz Stakes Jan. 21 and the Santa Ana (gr. IIT) March 25.
Better Lucky, a second 3-year-old in the Matriarch field, will make her California debut for Godolphin Racing and trainer Tom Albertrani. She finished third in the QE II Challenge Cup, beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Dayattthespa.
Tiz Flirtatious will make only her second start outside the California-bred ranks for owner-breeder Pamela Ziebarth and trainer Marty Jones. The Tizbud filly has won four of her five lifetime starts.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/74656/dayatthespa-can-keep-it-going-in-matriarch#ixzz2D5NOHRLq