ZENYATTA STAKES | PURSE: $250,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES & MARES | GRADE 1 | 1 1/16-Miles
Love and Pride, good enough to beat champion Royal Delta in her previous start, had little trouble dispatching her rivals in the $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes, going gate to wire at Santa Anita Park Sept. 29.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for Green Hills Farm, the New York-based Love and Pride got a practice run over the track for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic Nov. 2. That's when she'll likely be rematched with Royal Delta, smashing winner of the Beldame Invitational earlier in the day at Belmont Park. Any of the fillies and mares she faced in the Zenyatta will have their work cut out for them.
Sent off at odds of 4-1 with Martin Garcia aboard, Love and Pride ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.09 on a fast track for her second straight grade I victory. She won the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 26, defeating Royal Delta, who stumbled badly at the start, by a half-length.
Another shipper, Joyful Victory, finished second in the Zenyatta, with 5-2 second choice Include Me Out third. Chilean filly Amani, the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine fillies and mares, finished off the board.
The Zenyatta, run a few hours after a life-sized statue of the great mare was unveiled in the track's paddock gardens, was renamed this season by Santa Anita. It was previously known as the Lady's Secret.