OffTrackBetting.com - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes on Saturday, October 1. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
A small field of just five will line up in the Zenyatta Stakes - race 9 on Santa Anita's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 4:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all five entries for this interesting Grade 1 stakes - the latest chapter in the Beholder/Stellar Wind rivalry.
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2016 Zenyatta Stakes Race Preview at Santa Anita Park
Beholder 1-1 - superstar defending three-time champion and three time Eclipse Award winner - 2015 Champion Older Mare, 2013 Champion 3 Year Old Filly and 2012 Champion 2 Year Old Filly - 10 time Grade 1 victor has 24 career starts with an incredible 17 wins and five second place finishes. She enters on the heels of consecutive seconds though - in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic last time out against the boys including California Chrome and behind Stellar Wind in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes here July 30. Before that was a terrific eight race win streak - the Grade 1 Vanity Mile June 4, the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes May 8 after 7 1/2 months away, the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes (for the third straight year) September 26, the 2015 Pacific Classic against the boys by 8 1/4 lengths, the 2015 Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes by an incredible seven lengths August 1, the 2015 Adoration Stakes, the minor Santa Lucia Stakes in April and the 2015 Zenyatta Stakes in September. She won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2012 and the Breeders' Cup Distaff in 2013 but has just 12 starts since - nine wins. Beholder is a three-time Eclipse Award winner for a reason - she is mighty impressive and is destined to be in the mix Saturday. Gary Stevens will once again be in the saddle of the even money favorite from gate 2.
Stellar Wind 9-5 - John Sadler Eclipse Award winner as 2015 Champion 3 Year Old Filly was last seen beating Beholder in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar July 30. Before that was a second behind Beholder after a seven month layoff in the Grade 1 Vanity Mile June 4. She also had a good second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff and a tidy two race win streak- the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar last August 30 and the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita June 20, 2015. Other results include a terrific win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks April 4 of last year and an upset 2 3/4 length victory in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 7-1 odds February 28, 2015. She now has six wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 10 career starts - as competitive as they come when healthy. Victor Espinoza has been tabbed to ride Stellar Wind in another showdown with Beholder - from the outside post 5 as the close second betting choice.
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Vale Dori 5-1 - Bob Baffert trained Argentinean bred filly has a win and two seconds in five starts all around the world including a Group 1 race at home in May, 2015 and an OK fourth in the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan in March of this year. She has two North American starts - a nice win last time out in the minor Tranquility Lake Stakes at Del Mar August 31 and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming on that track August 3. Vale Dori has been in every race so far in her career and is a sneaky entry to this race. Rafael Bejarano has been tabbed to ride the morning line third choice from post 3.
Tara's Tango 6-1 - Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly has 12 career starts with five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. She was last seen posting a nice win in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar August 17. Before that was an OK third in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap back on April 15, a good win in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita in March and another win as favorite in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes February 14. She also had a respectable third in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes January 23 and three runner-up finishes earlier in her career - behind Champion Stellar Wind in the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks June 20 at Santa Anita, as favorite in the minor Angels Flight Stakes May and in the minor Santa Paula Stakes April 5. Tara's Tango has won three of her last four starts and is another interesting entry for this race. Martin Garcia has the mount from gate 4.
Off the Road 30-1 - Brazilian bred Richard Mandella trained mare posted three wins and three second place finishes in seven starts at home including a Group 1 race two years ago. She hasn't been all that great in six North American starts - a fourth last time out behind Stellar Wind in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar July 30 followed an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming June 19, a fourth in the minor Mizdirection Stakes May 21, an OK second in the Grade 3 Las Ceinegas Stakes in April and a fourth in an Allowance in March. Off the Road has placed in just one of her last seven starts overall and looks to be in over her head in this one. Tiago Josue Pereira will be in the saddle from the rail.
2016 Zenyatta Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 7:30 PM.