12/01/2013 8:25PM

Hollywood Park: Egg Drop by a nose in Matriarch Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Egg Drop (right) beats Discreet Marq by a nose in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on Sunday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Egg Drop has a flair for the dramatic. A winner of her two prior starts, both Grade 2 stakes, by a head each time, she earned her first Grade 1 win Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park in the final running of the $250,000 Matriarch Stakes, prevailing by the slimmest of noses over Discreet Marq.

Egg Drop ($23.20) surprisingly was allowed an uncontested lead through fractions of 23.86 seconds for a quarter-mile and 47.26 for a half-mile. Discreet Marq engaged her into the lane and got past her at midstretch, but Egg Drop re-rallied in the closing yards while along the rail under jockey Martin Garcia.

Discreet Marq finished a half-length in front of Better Lucky, the defending winner of the Matriarch. Dayatthespa was fourth and was followed by 9-5 favorite Tiz Flirtatious, Wishing Gate, Pianist, Stormy Lucy, and My Gi Gi.

Egg Drop completed one mile on firm turf in 1:34.03, with a final quarter-mile in 23.51 seconds.

“I let her break on her own, and no one went with me,” said Garcia, who said Discreet Marq “went by really easy, but my filly came back” when he switched his whip to his right hand.

“She doesn’t like to win by much,” Garcia said.

The Matriarch was the third straight win for Egg Drop, and the combined margin of those wins is not even a half-length. She has won six times in 12 starts and earned $494,020 for the Little Red Feather partnership.

Egg Drop, 4, is a daughter of Alphabet Soup. She is trained by Mike Mitchell.

“At the eighth pole, I thought she was beat, but I was still thinking of how proud I was that she was hanging in there, and then she came back,” Mitchell said. “She likes to fight.”

Mitchell has spent decades at Hollywood Park and said winning the final Matriarch was special.

“A Grade 1, for these clients, with Hollywood closing, yes,” Mitchell said. “She’s got to be worth a lot more as a broodmare now when they retire her, but hopefully that won’t be for a while. A mile for her is perfect. This is so much fun.”