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Gary Stevens celebrates aboard Beholder after winning the 2015 Zenyatta Stakes
Part 1 - Awesome Again, Chandelier, and FrontRunner Stakes
The premier race for older fillies and mares during the Santa Anita fall meet is the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes (G1), a 1 1/16 mile main track trip with the winner earning automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Pacific Classic (G1) winner Beholder was sent off as the 1-10 favorite in the field of 8 off a 5 race win streak which started in last year's Zenyatta Stakes. In to challenge her included 12-1 second choice Warren's Veneda, 3rd in the Clement Hirsch (G1), and 20-1 My Sweet Addiction, 4th in the Hirsch.
Beholder leads in the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 9 Beholder Stevens 2.20 2.10 2.10 6 My Sweet Addiction Smith 5.40 3.40 2 Savings Account Van Dyke 5.60 Winning Time: 1:42.83 $1 Exacta 9-6 6.30 $1 Trifecta 9-6-2 58.70 $1 Superfecta 9-6-2-3 364.10Results Chart
Left: Beholder in the winner's circle with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background. Winning trainer Richard Mandella said, "(Breeders' Cup Classic) would be the plan. Anything can change and nothing's in stone, but as of now there's no reason not to think of that. She needed to run because she had nothing but rest since the Pacific Classic. She had one good workout, the rest was just rest, so she needed the race or a really good work or several good works. I actually thought with the (103 F) temperatures, maybe I shouldn't run. Then I thought, if I scratch her, something else could come up, then everything would be messed up, so I stuck with it and I'm glad I did."
Right: Beholder in the paddock before the race. Jockey Gary Stevens said, "I'm not going to make any predictions but I can't wait to get to Keeneland. I just hope everybody shows up like they did today. I'm excited about the Classic; I'll probably feel less pressure going into the Classic than what I felt today. Going into today I knew we had to get through this one as easy as possible and it was! Now it's Richard's job to keep her the way she is for another month. I was stressed, but more stressed about the weather than anything else. She handled it well."
Left: Second place finisher My Sweet Addiction in the paddock before the race. Jockey Mike Smith said, "I feel like I won (laughing). To run second to that mare is really a good thing. I was just proud of the way she acted today. She just did everything right, but we ran against Beholder. My mare's talented. I know they're using this race for a prep and Gary doesn't want to do too much going into the Breeders' Cup. So he stayed with me and really carried me along. My mare ran well – she really dug in, and I couldn't be any prouder of her."
Right: Third place finisher Savings Account comes over from the barns before the race. The 35-1 shot was last 6 lengths back under Drayden Van Dyke, then passed tired horses to get third beaten 8 3/4 lengths. The Tom Proctor trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 12 starts, earning $181,090 for owner Heider Family Stables and Craig Bernick.
Photo Call wins the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1)
Fanticola went to the front down the hill and first time by through fractions of 23.65, 47.57, 1:12.89, and 1:37.13 while as many as 2 lengths ahead of 25-1 Stormy Lucy. On the far turn, 8-1 Photo Call, 4th early, came through between horses for room, and took over inside the 1/8 pole to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths over 7-1 Elektrum in 2:00.76. It was just a head back to Stormy Lucy third, while favorite Hard Not to Like checked in 8th.
Left: Photo Call in the winner's circle. Anne Sinchak, assistant to trainer Graham Motion said, "She's been a class act. She loves the track, she loves the heat, and it's beautiful here. You just have to keep them happy, and they'll run the way they like to. I think the race just fit. She's been training well, and Graham seems to like it here – we do well here. It fit well in her schedule, and it's a ‘Win and You're In' race."
Right: Drayden Van Dyke celebrates aboard Photo Call after the race. Van Dyke said, "The stretch was a bit hairy. I went down to the inside hoping Joe (Talamo on Fanticola) would float off of the rail a little bit but he never did. I had to cut back and luckily she was brave enough to go through. Not a lot of fillies are brave enough to go through a hole like that but she just rocketed through there and I was lucky to get the good trip."
Left: Second place finisher Elektrum in the paddock before the race. The 7-1 shot as 8th early under Tyler Baze and rallied to get second beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The John Sadler trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 5 seconds, and 2 thirds in 16 starts, earning $359,438 for owner Hronis Racing.
Right: Third place finisher Stormy Lucy in the paddock before the race. The 25-1 shot pressed the pace under Corey Nakatani but missed second money by a head. The Ed Moger Jr. trainee improved her record to 7 wins, 2 seconds, and 5 thirds in 29 starts, earning $587,700 for owner Steve Moger.
Eighth place finisher and beaten favorite Hard Not to Like returns after the race. Jockey Victor Espinoza said, "She was too much in the bridle. Right out of the gate I tried to save ground and go to the inside and she was doing good but as soon as she crossed the dirt she grabbed the bridle and I couldn't relax her. She got strong and finally on the backside I gave into her a little bit to help her out and hopefully help relax her but when I gave her the go-ahead she didn't want to run."
38-1 Elementar was quickest away through fractions of 21.96 and 44.30 down the hill while pressed by Spirit of Xian and Finest City. Spirit of Xian gained the lead midstretch through 3/4 in 1:07.19, but 10-1 Singing Kitty, 5th early under Rafael Bejarano, rallied 3 wide to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:13.34. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to favorite Curlin's Fox third.
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