Maiden winner Reneesgotzip literally burst into the graded stakes
ranks Sunday with a scintillating 7 3/4-length romp in the 61st running
of Santa Anita’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old
fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.
The daughter of City Zip, purchased by the Lanni Family Trust
for $45,000 at sale last April, ran the distance in 1:15.25, a tick
faster than when Face The Facts equaled the then track mark with a
stakes-record 10 ½-length victory in the 1964 Santa Ynez.
No filly since 1964 has won the Santa Ynez by a wider margin
than did Reneesgotzip. And the list includes such standouts as Golden
Ballet (7 lengths in 2001), Fit To Lead (5 ½ in 1993), Goodbye Halo (5
in 1988) Very Subtle (4 ¼ in 1987) as well as the brilliant Terlingua (4
¼ in 1979).
“This is a tremendous filly,” winning jockey Corey Nakatani said
after dismounting from the Peter Miller-trainee. She had broken her
maiden at Hollywood Park on Dec. 14 by 2 ¼ lengths while earning a
topnotch Beyer Speed Figure of 98.
The maiden victory under Nakatani was so impressive that the
public bet Reneesgotzip down to even money favoritism in a field that
included Bob Baffert’s Candrea, runner-up in last fall’s Grade I Oak
The chestnut filly swiftly took charge. She breezed through
splits of 22.31 and 45.06. When a challenge was mounted turning into the
stretch, Reneesgotzip burst clear. She covered six furlongs in 1:08.69.
Reneesgotzip drifted well off the rail turning for home, but Nakatani
straightened her up in short order and she was lengthening her lead at
the end under his urging.
“She was a little green coming to the quarter pole today,”
Nakatani said. “She shied and drifted out, so I shook her up right there
and she responded. I’ve been getting on this horse in the morning for
Pete (Miller) and she’s shown me every time what she can do.”
“She broke well again and she was up to the task,” said Miller.
“I was surprised at how easy she won her first start. I thought she
might have needed a race, but evidently she didn’t. She had shown a lot
of ability, but not this kind of ability.”
The distant second-place finisher in the Santa Ynez was Made to
Love Her, ridden by Rafael Bejarano. Painted Woman, with Mike Smith
aboard, finished another length back in third. Candrea, the
second-choice at 5-2, checked in fifth in the field of six.
The winner paid $4, $2.80 and $2.60. Made to Love Her returned
$5.40 and $3.80. The show price on Painted Woman was $4.20. The winning
purse of $90,000 boosted the earnings of Reneesgotzip to $117,000.
Miller did not pinpoint a next start for his rising star.
“Eventually I definitely would like to stretch her out,” he said. “I
think the way she relaxes and the way she has that nice turn of foot, I
do think she will get two turns. I think that’s in the future. Whether
it’s her next start or not, we’ll just kind of play it by ear.”