Zenyatta Stakes 2017 Picks
Zenyatta Stakes Preview
While the field of six fillies and mares for the Zenyatta boasts a heavy favorite in Paradise Woods (6-5 in the morning line odds), she's not a filly without a few question marks. A three year old who will be facing older mares for the first time, she looked spectacular in winning the (G1) Santa Anita Oaks in April, cruising to a 11 3/4 length win over It Tiz Well, Able Tasman and Mopotism, who just happened to finish first, second and fourth in last weekend's (G1) Cotillion Stakes.
She followed that up by inexplicably burning herself out in a speed duel in a sloppy Kentucky Oaks leading to her completely melting down in the late stages and finishing 11th. Following a twelve-week layoff, she came back to try the (G3) Torrey Pines Stakes, where she broke poorly and then dragged herself and jockey Flavian Prat up to challenge for the lead, only to tire from the exertion and finish sixth. Given all that, it's tempting to try and beat her.
Faithfully Deserved Better Last Race
Breaking from the inside gate, Faithfully (5-2) lacks a graded-stakes score to her name, but she does have a minor stakes win over the track and at the distance. She had some bad racing luck and a bit of trouble in the stretch in her last to just get beaten by a 20-1 longshot, and she has finished either first or second in eight of her last nine races.
Beyond the top two, the quality of the field takes a drop. Third choice in the ML is the mare that just beat Faithfully in the Tranquility Lake Stakes, Shenandoah Queen (3-1).
While giving her full credit for that win, it was her first stakes race of any kind, and previous to that she was running in the allowance or allowance optional claiming ranks, where she had one win, and a third, fourth and fifth-place result in four tries.
Third-place in that same race went to Motown Lady (5-1) who is also in this field. Prior to that she ran a credible fourth in the (G1) Clement L. Hirsch stakes against a much tougher field than she's facing here. She has three wins from 17 career starts, all at the allowance or allowance optional claiming level.
The Zenyatta Stakes goes Saturday, September 30 from Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California. Post time is set for 2:30 PM Pacific. It is race #5 of 11 on the day, and also the first of five Grade 1 stakes races on Saturday's card, which includes the Awesome Again Stakes, where the winner will gain automatic entry in to the Breeders' Cup Classic. You can bet all Santa Anita races under Today's Tracks at Bovada or your preferred online racebook.
Zenyatta Stakes Entries
- Faithfully (5-2)
- Midnight Toast (12-1)
- Motown Lady (5-1)
- Paradise Woods (6-5)
- Rockport Babe (15-1)
- Shenandoah Queen (3-1)
Zenyatta Stakes Picks
- #1 - Faithfully
- #4 - Paradise Woods
- #3 - Motown Lady
- #6 - Shenandoah Queen
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