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Saturday, October 10, 2009


NEKO BAY’S UPSET IN SUNDAY SILENCE PURSE FOR ZENYATTA’S CONNECTIONS SEALS $78,530 PICK SIX CARRY


ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) – Lightly-raced 6-year-old Neko Bay, raced by the identical connections of unbeaten superstar mare Zenyatta, rallied along the inside to score a 5-1 upset Friday in Oak Tree’s featured $55,200 Sunday Silence Purse at Santa Anita and seal a Pick Six carryover of $78,530 into Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge program in which Zenyatta is certain to be a most popular Pick Six single while seeking her 13th straight victory in the Grade I, $300,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes.

With Mike Smith in the saddle for trainer John Shirreffs, Jerry and Ann Moss’s Neko Bay returned from a 10-month layoff to find an opening near the rail and run down 17-10 favorite Mast Track by one length in Friday’s one-mile allowance event while covering the distance in 1:35.78.


Mast Track, the 2008 Hollywood Gold Cup winner with Rafael Bejarano aboard, finished 2 ¼ lengths ahead of millionaire Becrux and five-time British jockey champion Kieren Fallon in a stellar field for the level. Checking in fourth was 3-1 second-choice El Gato Malo, a 4-year-old who won his first three starts by a combined 16 lengths including last year’s Grade II San Rafael Stakes by 6 ¼ at Santa Anita.

It was an impressive showing for Neko Bay, a homebred son of Giant’s Causeway, who has dealt with infirmaries during a nevertheless ultra consistent career on the racetrack where he has finished first or second in 9 of his 10 starts.

“He hadn’t run in 10 months and we had the outside post, so I knew he was going to be a little keen early,” Hall of Fame jockey Smith said in the winner’s circle. “So I got him covered up right away and I tried to get him to relax. I didn’t want to make an early run and get caught four-wide and have him flatten-out, so I wanted to stay down in the pocket and punch through when it counted.”

The mutuel count on Neko Bay across the board was $12.20, $4.60 and $3.60. Mast Track paid $3.20 and $2.80 while Becrux returned $6 to show.

The Pick Six carryover was announced immediately following the Sunday Silence and followed victories in the Pick Six sequence by Anundeniablyhappy in the third race at $22.40; Sindyfromsantacruz in the fourth at $11; My Maloof Rocker in the fifth at $6.20, and Misty Aly in the sixth at $14.40.

Neko Bay’s victory was worth $32,400 to the Mosses and brought the Kentucky-bred’s career earnings to $221,020 from an overall record of 4-5-0 in 10 starts.

With a 10-race card on Saturday, the Pick Six sequence will begin with the fifth race and will include the Grade II, $150,000 Oak Tree Mile as the sixth with Cowboy Cal the 2-1 morning line favorite; Kentucky Derby champion Mine That Bird among 10 entrants in the Grade I, $350,000 Goodwood Stakes going as the seventh; mighty Zenyatta at 2-5 in the eighth-race Lady’s Secret. The other major stakes on the program is the earlier fourth race with Magical Fantasy as the 8-5 choice in the Grade I, $300,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes. First post is at 12:30 p.m.


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