Saturday, January 2, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 2, 2010 . . . Long shot Z. I. Zipp lived up to his name in the $50,000 Turfway Prevue Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, jumping immediately to the lead and drawing off to win by 4 1/4 lengths under a hand ride by Tom Pompell.
By City Zip out of Mayan, Z. I. Zipp was bred and is owned by Patricia and Michael Freeny, who retired and moved from California to Kentucky to raise horses. The Turfway Prevue is their first stakes win.
"[Z. I. Zipp] is the first of four foals from our first crop," said a delighted Patricia Freeny, "and Mayan is in foal to City Zip again. Our first crop—it's wonderful."
Fish was second in the Turfway Prevue, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Don’t Put It Back in third. Lucky Chuck, the 6-5 favorite, was a head back in fourth. Fish and Lucky Chuck traded places briefly around the half-mile mark, but otherwise the three stalked Z. I. Zipp in the order in which they finished.
Z. I. Zipp finished the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:19.66 after setting fractions of :23.13, :46.84, and 1:12.73.
"He's got natural speed,” said Pompell. "The trainer, [Bill Connelly], said he didn't have to have the lead, but he jumped out good. On the turn I looked over and saw the 1 [Lucky Chuck] was coming, so I let him out a little bit, and it seemed to work out from there."
In his prep for the Turfway Prevue, Z. I. Zipp was third, beaten 13 lengths, behind Lucky Chuck and Fish, a result that prompted Connelly's sole instruction to Pompell. "The only thing I told him was to make sure he switched leads in the lane," Connelly said, who spoke by phone from Louisville.
Completing the order of finish were Successful Score; Coosada; 5-2 second choice Kera's Kitten, who stumbled out of the gate and was never involved; and Sciarpa Rosso. Rockin' Rockstar was a late scratch.
Z. I. Zipp was sent off at 17-1 and paid $36.80 for the win. He now has two wins and one third from four career starts and earnings of $47,031.
The Turfway Prevue is the first of three local preps leading to the Lane's End Stakes in March. The Freenys were unsure if their winner would follow that path, saying, "We're going to leave that up to the trainer. We'd love for him to go that way. Bill will handle that for us, but yes, we'd be delighted to have him go that way." Connelly indicated he would nominate Z. I. Zipp to the second prep, the WEBN Stakes on January 30, but said, "I have no idea at this point" if the gelding would enter. "We'll just take one day at a time," he said.
Racing continues Sunday at 1:10pm. Turfway then begins its new three-day live racing schedule, running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through February. Thursdays will be added to the schedule in March. The track continues to offer simulcast racing Wednesday through Sunday.