Zenyatta Stakes 2014 at Santa Anita

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes on Saturday, September 27 - just one of five Grade 1 stakes on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Santa Anita's main track searching for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.

A small but quality field of six will line up in the Zenyatta Stakes - race 5 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 2:30 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 1 stakes.

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2014 Zenyatta Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Beholder - 2012 Eclipse Award winner as 2-year-old filly has 14 career starts with nine wins and three second place finishes - the only time she hasn't finished first or second came in her debut and last time out - way back on June 7 in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park. She won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in November, 2012 and won the Breeders' Cup Distaff in 2013 - impressive! She enters this weekend having won six of her last eight starts - the minor Santa Lucia Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths April 20 in her only other start of 2014, the Breeders' Cup in November, last year's Zenyatta September 28 and a 3 3/4 length win in the minor Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar September 1. This after a second to Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks way back in May, 2012. She is an Eclipse Award winner for a reason - she is mighty good. Beholder will have Mike Smith in the saddle from post 4 Saturday.

Iotapa - John Sadler trainee is coming off a terrific win in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar August 2 which followed an incredible 10 1/4 length win in the Grade 1 Vanity Stakes at Santa Anita June 14. Before that was an uncharacteristic sixth in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff and a good second behind Let Faith Arise as 7-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes March 15. She posted a terrific gate-to-wire win in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes with a career best 99 Beyer figure February 15 and also had a good second in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes to start 2014 January 15. Other results include a very respectable second behind Beholder 2 3/4 lengths back in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and a win the minor Railbird Stakes as 7-5 favorite May 19. Iotapa has six wins, four seconds and a third place finish in 12 career starts and enters in terrific form. Joe Talamo rides from post 2.

Zenyatta Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Tiz Midnight - Bob Baffert trained filly has placed in all six career starts and rides a three race win streak into her stakes debut. Last time out was an Allowance Optional score at Del Mar September 1 after another Allowance optional Claiming win on that same track August 2 and a maiden score in her fourth career start. Tiz Midnight looks more than ready for her stakes debut and will have Victor Espinoza aboard from the rail.

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Yahilwa - had 13 starts in Britain before her North American debut - a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track January 26. She followed that with a fourth in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes here February 15, a fifth in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes March 15 and an Allowance score April 19. Last time out was a second in an Allowance August 24 after a pair of ugly results - a seventh in the minor Osunitas Stakes in July and a sixth in the Grade 1 Vanity Stakes on this track in June. Before that was a good second at 17-1 odds behind Let Faith Arise in the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes on this track May 18. Yahilwa had two wins, a second and four third place finishes at home before shipping and has been up and down in North America. Rafael Bejarano has the mount from gate 3.

Wittgenstein - Irish bred Doug O'Neill trained filly has 21 career starts with just two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. She has placed in just one of her last six starts overall - a second in an Allowance at Hollywood Park in December. She has yet to finish better than sixth in graded stakes races - she has five starts in top company and looks over her head in this one. Mario Gutierrez has the mount from post 5.

Tiz the Key - had three starts in 2013 with just a third place finish to show for it. But she started 2014 very well - two straight wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita May 18 after breaking maiden April 4. Last time out was an ugly eleventh in the Grade 2 San Clemente handicap July 19 after a fourth in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita May 31. She does have one other stakes start under her belt - a seventh in the minor Surfer Girl Stakes here in October. Tiz the Key now has seven career starts with two wins and a third place finish and will be looking to shake a most unflattering stretch. Tyler Baze gets the call from the outside post.

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