The one mile event for older fillies and mares is part of a Grade I grass doubleheader on the final day of the Turf Festival.
There is also a Fans’ Choice giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last. Items include Betfair Hollywood Park fedoras and shot glasses honoring Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another.
Trained by Chad Brown for a partnership that includes Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Dayatthespa is perfect in 2012, winning twice at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland and once at Saratoga.
Three of the victories for the 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 Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Cup Oct. 13 at Keeneland.
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.
A New York bred, Dayatthespa has won six of eight – all on grass – and earned $574,892.
Star Billing and Summer Soiree, the 1-2 finishers 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).
A daughter of Dynaformer and the Thunder Gulch mare Topliner, Star Billing is winless in four races since her 10-1 surprise in the Matriarch, most recently finishing eighth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. She’s won three of 11 in her career and banked $415,067.
Owned by Team Valor International, Summer Soiree has started only twice since her half-length defeat in the Matriarch. The 4-year-old War Front filly out of the Mazel Trick mare Mazel Tov was third in the Grade II Ballston Spa Aug. 25 at Saratoga before finishing fourth in the Grade I First Lady – at the Matriarch distance – 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.
A 5-year-old daughter of Dansili and the Distant View mare Aspiring Diva, 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 latest 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 – and it was one of his final wishes that she make the final start of her career in the race.
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.
An Irish bred daughter of Hurricane Run and the Indian Ridge mare Posterity, Future Generation is 6-for-13 lifetime with earnings of $239,380. The 4-year-old was last seen winning the Serena’s Cat by 5 ¾ lengths Oct. 25 at Belmont Park.
Vamo a Galupiar will try to rebound after finishing last of 13 in the E.P. Taylor Oct. 14 at Woodbine. The Chilean bred mare has won five of 10 and earned $190,920.
Owned by Robert S. Evans and trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, Vamo a Galupiar is a 5-year-old daughter of Proud Citizen and the Special Quest mare Afirmate Catalina. Both of her 2012 have come at Santa Anita – the Megahertz Stakes Jan. 21 and the Grade II Santa Ana March 25.
Better Lucky will make her California debut for Godolphin Racing LLC and trainer Tom Albertrani after finishing third in the QE II Cup, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Dayattthespa.
A 3-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper and the Seeking the Gold mare Sahara Gold, Better Lucky has won three of eight and banked $288,950.
Tiz Flirtatious will make only her second start outside the California bred ranks for owner-breeder Pamela Ziebarth and trainer Marty Jones.
The 4-year-old Tizbud filly out of the Victory Gallop mare Masquerade Belle has won four of five and earned $194,800. Her lone defeat was a third in the Grade II La Canada Stakes Jan. 22 at Santa Anita.
Both Better Lucky and Tiz Flirtatious were late nominees – at a cost of $5,000 – to the Matriarch.
From inside out, the field for the Matriarch: Tiz Flirtatious, Rafael Bejarano rides, 123 pounds; Emulous, Patrick Smullen, 123; Vamo a Galupiar, Mike Smith, 123; Better Lucky, Eddie Castro, 120; Dayatthespa, Javier Castellano, 120; Star Billing, Victor Espinoza, 123; Summer Soiree, Gabriel Saez, 123 and Future Generation, Ramon Dominguez, 123.
In the Derby, Golden Ticket, who finished in a dead heat with Alpha in the Grade I Travers Stakes Aug. 25 at Saratoga, will make only his second start on turf.
A son of Speightstown and the Deputy Minister mare Business Plan owned by Magic City Thoroughbred Partners and trained by Ken McPeek, Golden Ticket has won two of 11 while earning $648,335. He was second behind Finnegans Wake in a maiden race at Gulfstream Park on New Year’s Day in his sole race on grass.
The Irish-bred Rjwa will try to become the first filly to win the Derby since Royal Heroine in 1983. Owned by Sheikh Joann Bin Hamad Al Thani and trained by Francois Rohaud, the 3-year-old daughter of Muhtathir and the Flag Down mare Minallon has won two of eight and earned $293,731. In her most recent start, she was fifth in the Group I Prix de’l’Opera Longines Oct. 7 at Longchamp. In June, Rjwa was third in the Group I French Oaks.
Motion will send out a pair – Lucky Chappy and General Logan in search of his first Derby victory.
Owned by Team Valor International, Lucky Chappy has won two of 11. The son of High Chaparral and the Distant Relative mare Germane has earned $326,402.
Bred in Kentucky and owned by Jack Swain III, General Logan arrives having won three in a row at Presque Isle Downs and Keeneland. The Exchange Rate gelding out of the General Meeting mare Dancing General has earned $84,750. The Derby will be his initial appearance in a graded race. He was fourth at Presque Isle in his debut Aug. 1 before beginning his win streak.
Unbridled Command has won four in a row for Lewis Lakin and trainer Tom Bush, including a Grade III victory in the Saranac Sept. 2 at Saratoga.
A New York bred son of Master Command and the Unbridled’s Song mare Unbridled Betty, Unbridled Command is 5-for-9 in his career with earnings of $319,040. He hasn’t lost since finishing third in a state bred allowance May 26 at Belmont Park.
Handsome Mike will try to rebound from a ninth place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.
A Scat Daddy colt out of the Smart Strike mare Classic Strike, Handsome Mike has won twice in 11 starts and earned $756,780. His most significant victory for owner Reddam Racing LLC and trainer Doug O’Neill was a 19-1 upset in the Grade II Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 22 at Parx.
Handsome Mike broke his maiden on turf Oct. 16, 2011 at Santa Anita when trained by Melody Conlon for owner John Liviakis and was second behind Stoney Fleece over the local turf in the Grade III Generous Stakes six weeks later.
Grandeur and Speaking of Which, the 1-2 finishers in the Grade II Twilight Derby Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, will tangle again Sunday.
Owned by Yvonne Jacques and trained by Jeremy Noseda, Grandeur finished a half-length in front of Speaking of Which in Arcadia in his United States debut.
A gelded son of Verglas and the Desert Sun mare Misskinta, Grandeur has won five of 10 and earned $198,438.
Weld trains Speaking of Which for owner-breeder Moyglare Stud Farm, Ltd. The Invincible Spirit colt out of the Mr. Prospector mare Suitably Discreet has two wins in five starts and has banked $91,998.
Like Unbridled Command, Summer Front is shipping from New York. The War Front colt out of the El Prado mare Rose of Summer has won five of nine and earned $405,800 for Waterford Stable and Clement. The lone graded win for the Kentucky bred came in the Grade III Hill Prince June 16 at Belmont, but he has been third in a pair of Grade I events in his last two starts.
Summer Front wound up 2 1/2 lengths behind Bayrir in the Secretariat Aug. 18 at Arlington Park before finishing 1 ¼ lengths back of King David in the Jamaica Handicap Oct. 6 at Belmont.
Fifth in the Twilight Derby, My Best Brother returns to the scene of his first two wins for owner-breeders Bill Currin and Al Eisman and trainer Julio Canani.
The Stormy Atlantic colt and the Carson City mare Wilshewed defeated maidens at six furlongs and won an optional claimer at one mile during the Spring/Summer meet, then took the restricted Oceanside Stakes and Grade II Del Mar Derby at Del Mar. He’s earned $346,090 with four wins in nine attempts. Canani won the 1988 Derby with Silver Circus.
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who won the Derby 10 years ago with Johar, will be represented by Smart Ellis and Power Foot.
A Smarty Jones colt out of the El Gran Senor mare Corrazona, Smart Ellis, who was third in the Twilight Derby, has won two of eight for owner-breeders Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and has a bankroll of $115,590.
Owned and bred by the Schow Family Trust, Power Foot was sixth in the Twilight Derby in his first race for Mandella. The son of Powerscourt and the Black Minnaloushe mare Madame Blackfoot has one win in six starts and earnings of $62,384.
Power Foot’s victory was achieved in his first outing of 2012. The Kentucky bred defeated maidens by a neck as a 36-1 shot May 28 going 8 ½ furlongs over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf.
Big Bane Theory steps into graded company after consecutive wins for owner-breeders Mark Devereaux and Scott Gross and trainer Carla Gaines. The Artie Schiller colt out of the Alysheba mare Shebane has started three times and earned $93,720.
Fourth in the Twilight Derby, All Squared Away was a late nominee for $5,000 –as were General Logan, Groovin’ Solo and Rjwa - to the local Derby. Trained by Peter Miller for a partnership that includes Brous Stable, Wachtel Stable and Wire to Wire Stables, the Bellamy Road gelding out of the Posse mare Squared has won three of 16 and earned $220,809.
All Squared Away’s turf win came in an optional claimer Aug. 12 at Del Mar.
Trained by owner-breeder Myung Kwon Cho, Groovin’ Solo is the Derby also-eligible. The son of Bob and John and the Summer Squall mare Squall Linda has one win in eight starts and earnings of $38,990. He has yet to race on turf.
From inside out, the field for the Hollywood Derby: Big Bane Theory, Joe Talamo, 122; Handsome Mike, Mario Gutierrez, 122; Unbridled Command, Javier Castellano, 122; Grandeur, Garrett Gomez, 122; Smart Ellis, Corey Nakatani, 122; Golden Ticket, Mike Smith, 122; Power Foot, Edwin Maldonado, 122; Rjwa, Thierry Jarnet, 119; My Best Brother, Martin Garcia, 122; Lucky Chappy, Julien Leparoux, 122; Speaking of Which, Patrick Smullen, 122; All Squared Away, Rafael Bejarano, 122; Summer Front, Ramon Dominguez, General Logan, Eddie Castro, 122 and Groovin’ Solo, Brice Blanc, 122.