July 21, 2024

Constellation wears down Finley’sluckycharm to upset La Brea

Finley'sluckycharm (black cap) will be a heavy favorite to beat six rivals in her season debut (Benoit Photo)

Constellation improved to two-for-two for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with an upset victory over Finley’sluckycharm in Monday’s $301,035 La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita.

Sent off at 12-1, Constellation pressed Finley’sluckycharm through splits of :22.24 and :44.58 before relaxing around the far turn. Losing 1 1/2 lengths to that rival in upper stretch. Constellation re-rallied and wore down that tired, 9-5 second choice to win by a half-length.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, who picked up the mount from David Flores after the latter missed a connecting flight from Kentucky, Constellation paid $27 after completing seven furlongs in 1:21.83 on a fast track.

Finley’sluckycharm was three lengths clear of Enola Gray at the wire. Lightstream, the slight 9-5 favorite in the wagering, finished fifth in the field of seven three-year-old fillies.

“She is a really fine filly. She broke well, but I couldn’t take a hold of her. She just wouldn’t relax,” Prat said. “When we got to the three-eighths pole, she finally relaxed and she did everything to get there for the win. I was fortunate to get the call on her today.”

Starting off her career with Steve Asmussen, Constellation won the $142,000 Furlough and $95,000 Ruthless, both at Aqueduct, and placed in both the Spinaway (G1) and Matron (G1). Out of action following a fourth in the $118,000 Cicada at Aqueduct, she reappeared November 12 at Turf Paradise, where she coasted to a 5 1/4-length score in the $30,000 Phoenix in her debut for Hollendorfer. Owned by LNJ Foxwoods, the daughter of Bellamy Road has now earned $479,464 from a line of 8-5-1-1.

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Constellation as gone through the auction ring twice, most recently for $800,000 as an OBS March juvenile. Reared by the stakes-winning For Royalty, by Not for Love, Constellation is from the family of Grade 1 winner Spun Sugar and Daaher, and the Grade 2-winning Kiss to Remember.