Queen Goddess goes gate to wire in the G3 Robert J. Frankel (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Santa Anita Press Release
ARCADIA, Calif.— In a race that for all intents and purposes was over with just under a mile to run, favored Queen Goddess dictated terms throughout in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita and fairly waltzed to an emphatic 2 ½ length score while ridden for the first time by John Velazquez. Trained by Michael McCarthy, the 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:48.35.
Breaking sharply from her number nine post position, Velazquez was intent on making the early lead and by the time the field had reached the finish line for the first time, Queen Goddess had settled into a nice rhythm with Closing Remarks and Island of Love about one length behind going into the first turn. Leaving the three furlong marker, Queen Goddess opened up three lengths and with a final eighth of a mile run in 12 and two fifth seconds, she was long gone.
A winner of last year’s Grade I American Oaks when the race was shifted to the main track, Queen Goddess took the Grade III Santa Ana Stakes here on March 26 at a mile and one quarter on turf and had been idle since finishing second in the Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes May 14.
The 2-1 favorite today in a field of 10 fillies and mares three and up, Queen Goddess paid $6.00, $3.60 and $3.00.
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, who notched their second graded stakes win of the day and Gary Barber, Queen Goddess registered her third graded stakes win and her fifth win from 10 career starts. Out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Royal Story, Queen Goddess, with today’s winnings of $60,000, hiked her earnings to $470,580.
Up close throughout under Joe Bravo, California-bred Closing Remarks prevailed by 1 ¼ lengths for second money over Quattroelle and paid $6.60 and $4.40 while off at 7-1.
Ridden by Hector Berrios, Irish-bred Quattroelle was mid-pack early and finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of second choice England’s Rose. Off at 6-1 Quattroelle paid $3.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.39, 48.89, 1:12.42 and 1:36.25.