When it comes to Santa Anita's hillside turf course, it seems there is no getting by Unzip Me, who turned back a couple of challengers in the lane to win the $100,000 Monrovia Stakes (gr. IIIT) under threatening skies Jan. 2.
The Monrovia was carded as the second on the program due to expected rain later in the day and the decision turned out to be a good one when the skies began to open up following the race.
Trained by Marty Jones for California owners/breeders John Harris and Don Valpredo and co-owner Per Antonsen, odds-on choice Unzip Me won for the fourth time in five starts over the about 6 1/2-furlong layout. The 5-year-old City Zip mare was making her first start since finishing third against males in the five-furlong Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) after an uncharacteristic poor start at Churchill Downs Nov. 6.
Unzip Me won six of eight in 2010 and got the new year off a good start as well. Sent off as the 7-10 choice in a field of six older fillies and mares after a pair of scratches, Unzip Me recorded her fourth graded stakes win while clocking a time of 1:12.72 on a firm course. Rafael Bejarano was the winning jockey.