11/26/2001 1:00AM

Spook Express injured in Matriarch, euthanized

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Spook Express, coming off a second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf last month at Belmont Park, suffered a fatal injury nearing the finish of the grade 1 Matriarch Sunday afternoon at Hollywood Park and had to be euthanized.

After racing at the back of the field, jockey Mike Smith said Spook Express hit a "funny spot" near the sixteenth pole. Spook Express was euthanized after being diagnosed with a compound luxation of her left fetlock joint. Smith was not hurt.

Spook Express, a 7-year-old trained by Tom Skiffington, won 11 of 22 starts and $1,085,670. She was a champion in South Africa in 1998 and won stakes at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland this year.