Monday, May 21, 2012


Options Aplenty for Angelica Zapata


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (May 20, 2012) – Herman Van den Broeck's 4-year-old filly Angelica Zapata appeared content while in her stall in barn 78 of the Calder Casino & Race Course barn area Sunday morning, one day after her winning run in the $55,000 Sara’s Success, the daughter of Sharp Humor’s second career stakes victory.

“She ate up and seems to have come out of the race great, so far,” winning trainer Ron Pellegrini said. “And in going back and evaluating her race yesterday, I think it was her best race to date. She really put it together.”


With her victory in the Sara’s Success, Angelica Zapata has now won stakes over both dirt and synthetic surfaces, having won the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes when sprinting on Polytrack at Turfway in 2011, and is stakes-placed on grass following a second-place finish in last year’s Ellis Park Turf Stakes.

“She’s a versatile filly that can sprint or go long, and can run on dirt or turf,” Pellegrini said “So there are a few races we could point towards. The Hollywood Wildcat is a possibility, but we’ve got options and can go a couple of ways with her.”

rini has always held Angelica Zapata in high regard, and the filly had been a regular participant in stakes, including a quartet of graded events, while still retaining second-level allowance eligibility.

“She probably should have a won a couple of more races, but she always seemed to find bad luck,” Pellegrini said. “I remember in the (Grade 3) Dogwood, her saddle slipped coming out of the gate and the rider was never able to really ask her to run. She only got beat five lengths, but she literally never had a chance to run.

“And then when she stumbled at the start yesterday, I thought ‘here we go again.’ But (jockey) Jose (Ferrer) handled that perfectly, and he rode a very sensible race.”

While in the paddock prior to Saturday’s Sara’s Success, Angelica Zapata was rather rambunctious and lost both hind shoes, which resulted in a short delay before horses were sent to the track so the filly could be re-shod.

“For some reason she always acts up in the paddock,” Pellegrini explained. “I wish she’d tell me what bothers her there. She’s never a problem in the barn or on the track, but I always know she’s going to act up in the paddock. It happens every time.”

With just two starts on her 2012 résumé, Angelica Zapata appears fresh heading towards the second half of the season, and it would seem that the filly’s time at Calder has proven to be beneficial.

“She seems to be,” Pellegrini responded when asked if his filly was thriving in south Florida. “I knew she was sharp the first time I breezed her down here. It was her first work since the fall and she just went so nice and easy that I knew once we ran her, she would do well.”

The $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat, which could include an appearance by Angelica Zapata, is run at 7 ½ furlongs over the Calder turf course and will be contested as part of the July 7 Summit of Speed program.


RAVELO’S BOY WORKS TOWARD YET UNNAMED GOAL

Korina Stable’s 3-year-old colt Ravelo’s Boy, fifth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in his last start, was on the Calder main track Sunday morning, working five furlongs in 1:01 over a track made sloppy by a continued pattern of south Florida rains.

“Over that kind of track, I thought it was a wonderful work,” trainer Manny Azpurua said. “He went easy, and he galloped-out well.”

A two-time winner in 13 starts, with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis, the next race for Ravelo’s Boy remains unnamed, although a decision is likely to be made some time next week.

“We’ll work him again next Sunday morning and then decide what race is next,” Azpurua said. “We have a race in mind for him up north, but won’t say anything more about that until we see his next work.”


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