Zenyatta Stakes

Into Mischief Filly Continues Upward Trajectory in Zenyatta

Lightly raced Private Mission handled older foes with aplomb Sunday, earning a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff in the process. A debut winner sprinting here nearly a year ago, the bay was a speed-and-fade fourth at odds-on in the following month's Desi Arnaz S. at Del Mar and subsequently went missing. She reappeared to annex a local optional claimer in June, and took to two turns emphatically when romping by 6 1/2 lengths in Del Mar's GIII Torrey Pines S. Aug. 21. Keeping...

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Baffert Duo Top Zenyatta S.

Bob Baffert comes into Sunday's GII Zenyatta S. with a strong one-two punch in the form of Private Mission (Into Mischief) and the regally bred As Time Goes By (American Pharoah--Take Charge Lady). The winner of this event earns a spot in the upcoming GI Breeders' Cup Distaff at Del Mar. A debut winner at this oval last October, Private Mission checked in fourth in Del Mar's Desi Arnaz S. a month later and was subsequently shelved. Making her belated sophomore bow in a June 12 optional claimer here, the...

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Santa Anita's Blockbuster Opening Weekend Another Step Towards Full Strength

As springboard--or tripwire--before the ultimate Breeders' Cup showdown at Del Mar this November, Santa Anita's opening weekend sure ticks a lot of boxes. "Really happy with the job my staff did putting all these races together," said Santa Anita racing secretary, Chris Merz, on Thursday morning. "Stakes coordinator James Kasparoff did an outstanding job." In all, there are seven Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races. The three on Friday--the GI American Pharoah S., GII Chandelier S., and the Speakeasy S.--are geared around the sport's young blood. The Saturday and...

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Uncle Mo Filly Gets Better of Her Elders in 'Win and You're In' Zenyatta

Alice Bamford and Michael Tabor's Harvest Moon (Uncle Mo), the only 3-year-old in the four-horse field, put away favored Fighting Mad (New Year's Day) at midstretch and then held off Hard Not To Love (Hard Spun) in the dying strides to win the GII Zenyatta S. at Santa Anita Sunday and earn an automatic berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. "I'm absolutely thrilled today, completely over the moon for Harvest Moon," said Bamford. "She's a homebred and she's just so deep in my heart and in my family's heart....

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Fighting Mad Looks to Extend Hot Streak in Zenyatta
Fighting Mad Looks to Extend Hot Streak in Zenyatta

Fighting Mad (New Year's Day) looks to score her third straight victory and stamp her ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff in Sunday's GII Zenyatta S. at Santa Anita. Placed on the shelf after winning the GIII Torrey Pines S. in August of 2019, the West homebred crossed the line third, but was disqualified and placed fourth when making her return in the GIII Desert Stormer S. in May. A decisive winner of the GII Santa Maria S. two weeks later, the bay wired the GI Clement L. Hirsch...

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