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Longshot wins Matriarch at Hollywood Park as favorite has trouble

Dayatthspa leaps up after appearing to panic; jockey Javier Castellano is hurt but goes on to win later race. Better Lucky is the biggest longshot winner in the Grade I, $250,000 race, at 35-1.

November 26, 2012|Eric Sondheimer
  • Jockey Eddie Castro guides Better Lucky to victory in the $250,000 Matriarch Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Eddie Castro guides Better Lucky to victory in the $250,000 Matriarch… (Benoit Photo )

Jockey Javier Castellano had a wild day at Betfair Hollywood Park on Sunday.

In the Grade I, $250,000 Matriarch, he was riding the 17-10 favorite, Dayatthspa. The horse appeared to panic in close quarters turning into the backstretch of the mile turf race, leaped up on her hind legs and tried to jump over the rail. Castellano was hit in the mouth while steadying her and was applying an ice bag to his face afterward. She finished fifth.

The winner was 35-1 Better Lucky, the biggest longshot winner in the history of the Matriarch, defeating Tiz Flirtatious by a length.

But Castellano came back later in the day and guided the 3-year-old Unbridled Command to victory in the Grade I, $250,000 Hollywood Derby at 1 1/4 miles on the turf.

Grandeur finished second and Lucky Chappy third.

"I had a beautiful trip this time and everything worked out perfect," Castellano said. "I saw the horses started backing out and I chose to go around and everything worked out perfect."

In the Matriarch, jockey Eddie Castro rode Better Lucky to victory. The daughter of Ghostzapper returned $72.20. The previous high payout in the Matriarch was $63.40 after Duda won in 1995.

"I had a good break, but I got really scared when [Dayatthespa] had trouble near the fence," Castro said. "My filly gave me a real nice kick, and that was good enough to win today."

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