Trainer Bobby Frankel can't win a Triple Crown race, it seems, but he owns nearly everything else. Less than two hours after his Aldebaran won the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, Tates Creek captured the Gamely (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf.
Juddmonte Farm's Tates Creek unleashed a powerful stretch kick Monday to sweep to victory in the $421,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap, registering her first grade I victory for Frankel.
Tates Creek, a 5-year-old mare by Rahy from the dam Viviana, had been idle since winning the San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) on Jan. 11. Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, she covered the 1 1/8-mile turf test in a good time of 1:46 4/5. She outkicked 3-2 favorite Dublino by one length, with Megahertz third in the field of six. Pace-setting Miss Terrible faded to fourth.
"Bobby had her plenty ready," said Valenzuela afterward. "In the stretch, I asked he to pick it up and she responded all the way to the wire. She's growing right before our eyes."
Frankel won the Gamely for a record sixth time.
``It's no surprise to me. I think she's one of the best fillies in the country right now,'' said Humberto Ascanio, Frankel's assistant.
The victory was the second grade I win this month for the dam Viviana, whose Sightseek won the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 3. Tates Creek, who went over the $1 million mark in career earnings, won her fourth consecutive race, all graded stakes.
Miss Terrible, an Argentine filly who was making her first United States start while on a seven-race winning streak, was anxious away from the gate for jockey David Flores, but settled down while ticking off fractions of :24, :48 and 1:12. Tates Creek settled in third behind Miss Terrible and Dress to Thrill going into the far turn, but rallied on the outside as they hit the top of the stretch. Dublino, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, followed on the outside of Tates Creek, but was no match for the winner. Megahertz, last into the turn, came on for third with Alex Solis in the irons, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
Megahertz and Miss Terrible are also trained by Frankel, giving him half of the race's entrants.
Jockey Jose Santos, making a rare visit from his New York base, finished fifth on Irish-bred Dress To Thrill, who shipped in from Belmont.
``It was a tough race,'' he said. ``They started running real strong the last three-eighths of a mile, and she was going with them. But inside the eighth pole, she gave up. She just got tired.''
The always-consistent Tates Creek remains perfect in four tries on the Hollywood Park turf. Sixth in last year's Beverly D at Arlington, her only previous grade I experience, she has now won 10 of 14 career starts with a pair of seconds. The victory, worth $263,400 pushed her career bankroll to $1,121,007.
Sent off as the 7-2 third choice, Tates Creek paid $9, $3.40 and $2.60. Dublino returned $2.80 and $2.40. Megahertz showed for $3.20. The $2 exacta was worth $25.