DEL MAR, Calif. -- The Grade 1 winner Zazu has been supplemented to Saturday's $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar, and may start in that race against older fillies and mares instead of being sent to Saratoga for the Alabama Stakes later this month.
Trainer John Sadler said that he would discuss options with owners Jerry and Ann Moss and their racing manager, Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, before finalizing plans.
The decision will be partially based on an assessment of race strategy, Sadler said. The Grade 1 Clement Hirsch would be Zazu's first start against older fillies and mares, but would not require a cross-country journey to New York State.
"It's that simple – 3-year-olds versus older versus shipping and the weather," Sadler said. "Those are the pros and cons. She's ready to run. We are a little concerned about shipping back there."
The Clement Hirsch is run over 1 1/16 miles. The $500,000 Alabama Stakes is run over 1 1/4 miles for 3-year-old fillies on Aug. 20. It is highly unlikely that Zazu would run in both.
A winner of 3 of 9 starts and $472,985, Zazu will be the only 3-year-old filly in the Clement Hirsch, which is part of the Breeders' Cup's Challenge program offering a fees-paid berth for the winner to the BC Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs in November.
Zazu has won two stakes: the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in February and the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks at Hollywood Park in June. She was third in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May, and beat the winner of that race, Plum Pretty, in the Hollywood Oaks.
Sadler said that Garrett Gomez will ride Zazu. Aside from Zazu, other expected starters in the Clement Hirsch are the Sadler-trained Switch, Ellafitz, Freedom Star, St Trinians, Ultra Blend, and Washington Bridge.