07/02/2005 11:00PM

Intercontinental last-to-first in Royal Heroine

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Back at Hollywood Park, and back at one mile, Intercontinental repeated the quality of her victory in last fall's Matriarch Stakes with a last-to-first rally in the Grade 3, $200,000 Invitational Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park.

The victory was the third in her last four starts, her lone loss in that streak coming in her previous start, the Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park. Bobby Frankel, the trainer of Intercontinental, said the 5-year-old mare would run an improved race in the Royal Heroine, and jockey Jerry Bailey was able to harness her headstrong ways.

"She never completely turns off," Bailey said. "She always stays a bit aggressive. At least today she was manageable."

Intercontinental ($3.20) trailed the five-horse field as 21-1 shot Navaja led through fractions of 24.37 seconds, 47.86, and 1:11.55 for the first six furlongs. Intercontinental swooped the field on the turn, then safely held off Ticker Tape to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:34.33 for one mile on the firm course. Navaja was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Intercontinental was bred and is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, for whom the daughter of Danehill has won 10 times in 18 starts.