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UNZIP ME A SEEMLY WINNER IN SANTA ANITA DOWNHILL TURF FEATURE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2010) – Dominant in a turf sprint for a second straight time, 9-5 favorite Unzip Me defeated fast-closing Minute Limit by two lengths Thursday in Santa Anita’s $61,478 optional claiming feature for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course.
The 4-year-old California-bred daughter of City Zip owned by breeders Harris Farms, Don Valpredo and partners, covered the distance in 1:12.16 while providing red hot trainer Marty Jones with his sixth win from 13 starters at the winter/spring meet.
After winning her last start by four lengths at Hollywood Park, Rafael Bejarano sent the chestnut filly to the lead soon after the break. She maintained a clear lead until encountering difficulty crossing the main track as the field of nine entered the stretch. But once Unzip Me passed over the sudden change in footing, she seemed to re-break while regaining a comfortable advantage.
“She ran really good,” said Bejarano. “I think she got a little scared when we crossed the dirt and she lugged out a little bit. I didn’t want to fight her, and she finished up really good.”
Irish-bred Minute Limit, with Victor Espinoza in the saddle, ran on for second, one-half length ahead of third-place Dani Reese. The winner paid $5.60, $3.40 and $3.40. Minute Limit returned $5.60 and $4.20. The show price on Dani Reese was $4.
The victory was the fourth in nine starts for Unzip Me. The winning purse of $38,220 boosted her career earnings to $159,700. Jones indicated that another start over the downhill course in the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes on March 20 would be a target for Unzip Me.
On Friday, Santa Anita offers one of its popular “Free Fridays” racing programs with free admission and box seats free on a first come, first served basis. Hot dogs, sodas, beer, popcorn and coffee will be priced at $1. First post for the eight-race card is at 1 p.m.