Zenyatta Stakes 2013 Contenders at Santa Anita Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: September 26, 2013 -- 12:58 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes on card that features four Grade 1 Stakes - Saturday, September 28. A purse of $250,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/16 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track.

A field of eight older females has been confirmed for this year's Zenyatta - race 9 on Santa Anita's busy Saturday card. Post time is 5:00 PM. Let's take a brief look into the past performances of all eight entries for this Grade 1 stakes - a major prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff November 2.

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2013 Zenyatta Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Beholder - 2012 Eclipse Award winner as 2-year-old filly has 10 career starts with six wins and three second place finishes - the only time she hasn't finished first or second came in her debut. She won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in November for her second straight win and followed that with a second as overwhelming favorite in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez behind Renee's Titan here January 21. She avenged her defeat to Renee's Titan with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes March 2 and went on to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks April 6 at Santa Anita. Last time out was a 3 3/4 length win in the minor Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar September 1 after a second to Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks way back in May. She is the reigning Eclipse Award winner for a reason - she is mighty impressive. Gary Stevens will be in the saddle from post 3 Saturday.

Joyful Victory - In 11 starts since January 2012 Joyful Victory has been at or near the top of every race she has entered for trainer Larry Jones except for an uncharacteristic fifth as even money favorite in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park May 27. She bounced back with an incredible 7 1/2 length win last time out in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher to prove she is absolutely stellar. Joyful Victory began 2013 with two starts and two wins - in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita March 16 and at the minor Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston January 26. She ended her 2012 campaign with three second place finishes and two thirds - all graded stakes races. She has placed in 12 of 13 starts. Joyful Victory is the co-highweight at 121 pounds, and will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik from the 7 hole.

Zenyatta Stakes 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Include Me Out - was stellar in 2012 - six starts - four wins including the Grade 2 Marjorie L. Everett Handicap, the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes at Santa Anita on March 17, an impressive 4 1/2 length victory in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on January 22 and an impressive win in the 2012 Grade 1 Clement Hirsch. She was a somewhat disappointing third in the 2012 version of this race in September and then closed her 2012 campaign with an OK third in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. She has just two starts in the last nine months - a win in the minor but competitive Desert Stormer Handicap ahead of Teddy's Promise and Winding Way June 16 and an ugly eighth last time out in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch. She breaks from post 4 with Joe Talamo in the reigns.

Authenticity - Todd Pletcher trained mare made her stakes debut and finished a good second in the Grade 3 Rampart Stakes behind Ciao Bella at Gulfstream March 30 after two wins, a second and a third place finish in five career starts - the only out-of-the-money finish came in her debut. Last time out was an good second to Royal Delta in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign August 25 after a terrific win over Flashy American in the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap July 20, a very nice second in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap behind Tiz Miz Sue at Belmont Park May 27 and a true breakthrough performance - a win in the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes over On Fire Baby at Churchill Downs May 3. She has alternated wins and seconds in her last six starts and has placed in nine of 10 career starts. Martin Garcia will be in the saddle from the 6-hole.

Zenyatta Stakes betting at Santa Anita Park with OffTrackBetting.com

More Chocolate - John Sadler trained More Chocolate made her stakes debut and finished a very pleasant third in the Grade 3 Robert J. Frankel Stakes December 30 after six career starts produced two wins and a second place finish for trainer John Sadler. She had a very nice win in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes by two lengths over the talented Book Review January 20 and followed that with another good result - a second in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes March 16. She enters having placed second in two straight - last time out in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch August 3 and to Byrama in the competitive Grade 1 Vanity Handicap after a tepid fifth in the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs May 3. More Chocolate now has three wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts. Rafael Bejarano gets the mount from the far outside post Saturday looking break her string of seconds.

Via Villaggio - has 19 career starts and has placed in 13. Last time out was an OK third in the minor Adoration Stakes September 1 after a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch. This after a second in the minor California Governor's Cup Handicap at Sacramento July 13 and a sixth in the minor Desert Stormer Handicap in June in her only other start in 2013. She was fourth in the 2012 Zenyatta to follow a decent third in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes and had a good second in last year's Grade 2 Delaware Oaks to Grace Hall as well as a decent third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks and an impressive win in the Grade 3 Railbird on May 18, 2012 in her cushion track debut. Corey Nakatani will be in the saddle from post 2.

Flashy American - made her graded stakes debut with a very respectable second in the Grade 3 Shuvee July 20 after a win in her stakes debut - the Iowa Distaff Stakes at Prairie Meadows June 28. She enters on a nice two race win streak - the minor Alada Stakes at Saratoga August 9 and the minor Locust Grove Stakes at Churchill Downs September 7. She has seven career wins (four in her last five starts overall), three seconds and two third place finishes in 22 career starts for trainer Kenneth McPeek. She will be guided by Julien Leparoux from post 5.

Great Hot - Brazilian bred Great Hot had 11 starts in 2012 with only three seconds and a pair of thirds in minor stakes action. She was a distant ninth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and followed that with a third in the Kalookan Queen Stakes to end her 2012 campaign. She had a fourth in the Pasadena Handicap at Santa Anita January 13 and followed that with an impressive win (her first in 13 races) and a career best 98 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes in February with Gary Stevens aboard. Since that time she has a pair of fourths - in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch and in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita in March and last time out was an uber-disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes August 25 in her return to sprinting.

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