Saturday, January 22, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 22, 2011 – Angelica Zapata stamped herself a three-year-old filly to watch with a commanding 5 1/2-length win in the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. Golden Phoenix was second and Bach Hamilton was another 5 lengths back in third.
"I thought we would win," said trainer Ron Pellegrini. "This filly here, every time she runs she gets better. Her numbers get better every time she runs."
Angelica Zapata broke a trifle slowly from the two post but easily made up ground and at the quarter mark was fourth in a crowd, less than a length off the :22.94 pace set by Julia S. From her preferred position on the rail she made her move leaving the backstretch, marked the half in :45.82 with a half-length lead, and widened her unchallenged advantage with every step. Golden Phoenix, the 6-5 favorite, was next-best but never a threat to the winner. Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:17.51.
"We got outbroke and I was chirping to her the whole way down the backstretch," said winning jockey Ben Creed. "She just kept going, and kept going, and kept going—once she started she just kept picking it up and she was doing it real easy, relaxed and comfortable. So I thought I might as well just let her keep going. I think she can go longer.
"The rail hasn't been too good but they told me she likes it down there. As we were coming down the lane I actually reached over and got more of a hold on the right rein to get her out but she wouldn't do it. She wanted to stay on the fence."
Completing the order of finish were Julia S, Catinatree, Tater Taunter, Princess de Oro, and Ninjas Prize. Sonja's Angel and Rory's Dividend were scratched by their trainers.
The bettors' second choice at 5-2, Angelica Zapata returned $7.80, $3.40, and $3.
Angelica Zapata finished third in the Gowell Stakes in December, the first of three winter stakes for fillies leading to the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) in March, itself a prep for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Asked if Angelica Zapata would return for the third Bourbonette prep, the one-mile Valdale in February, Pellegrini said, "We'll just play it by ear, but we think she has some ability, so we'll see."
By Sharp Humor out of the Evansville Slew mare Two Dot Slew, Angelica Zapata is owned by Herman Van den Broeck, who with Buck Pond Farm also bred the bay filly. Angelica Zapata now has two wins, one second, and one third in six career starts for earnings of $78,022. The Cincinnati Trophy is her first stakes win.
Racing continues Sunday with first post at 1:10 p.m.