06/28/2009 12:00AM

Black Mamba takes Beverly Hills again

Benoit & Associates
Black Mamba and Garrett Gomez (left) duel in the stretch with Charming Legacy in Sunday's Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The at Hollywood Park is becoming Black Mamba's annual career saver.

Last year, Black Mamba won her first stakes in the United States and ended a seven-race losing streak in the Beverly Hills. In Sunday's $147,000 running, Black Mamba ended a five-race losing streak and scored her first stakes win since August.

Black Mamba needed every bit of the race distance of 1 1/4 miles on turf to secure the win. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Black Mamba ($3.40) closed from last in a field of four to deny a stubborn Charming Legacy. Black Mamba was timed in 1:59.72 and won by a head.

The Beverly Hills had only four starters. Hot n' Dusty was scratched after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on Saturday, while Restless Soul was scratched because of illness.

Black Mamba was last for the first mile, well behind pacesetter You Lift Me Up, who set an early pace of 23.53 and 47.14 seconds. You Lift Me Up led by a head over Charming Legacy at the eighth pole, with Black Mamba 1 1/2 lengths behind Charming Legacy. You Lift Me Up was out of contention by the sixteenth pole, when Black Mamba drew alongside Charming Legacy.

"Her style is to close and she doesn't really have a dimension when she can lay up close," Sadler said. "Less horses didn't help us."

Gomez was surprised that Black Mamba did not give him a response earlier in the race. "The fractions were honest enough but she's a little one-paced," he said. "She made my job a little more difficult, but she got the job done and hopefully she'll get some confidence back from this race."

Charming Legacy finished two lengths clear of You Lift Me Up, who was 9 1/2 lengths ahead of Toque de Queda.

Black Mamba, a 6-year-old mare by Black Minnaloushe, has won 5 of 26 starts and $808,891 for Doubledown Stable. Sadler said the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 8 is Black Mamba's next goal, and that she has been nominated for the Melbourne Cup in Australia in November.

While that race is months off and no plans have been finalized, Sadler said that Black Mamba has undergone the vaccination routine necessary to ship a horse to that country, if the idea takes hold.