Taking advantage of his filly’s outside post position on the grass, jockey John Velazquez used that placement to guide Peter Blum Thoroughbreds’ Inspired to a front-running length and a half win in Saturday’s $75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes for fillies and mares at about 5 1/2 furlongs over a Fair Grounds Stall-Wilson turf course that was rated “good” throughout the afternoon.
“I was on the outside and I wanted to keep her off the rail anyway,” said Velazquez immediately after the grass dash. “I’d been watching the races all day and I figured that might be the best place to be. I knew she was going to be on the lead, so it worked out great.”
Inspired took command just after the start and made the pace staying outside her rivals, getting early fractions of 22.11 and 45.33 before accomplishing the final time in 1:03.47. The daughter of Unbridled’s Song paid $32.80, $10.20 and $8.60 and increased her career earnings to $184,385 with her fourth win in 14 lifetime starts.
“The last time she ran, Johnny came back and said ‘Man, she doesn’t like it (being rated),’” trainer Allen Iwinski said. “He had said to just let her run free and not take hold of her and it turns out that was the right thing to do.”
Ike and Dawn Thrash’s favored Wild About Marie got up to finish a clear second, paying $4 and $3.40 while a length and a quarter in front of Prime Equestrian’s Flash Mash, who returned $4.40 in the third position.
The Pan Zareta was marred by the break down of Thoroughbred Legends Racing Stable’s Rapport, who had to be put down immediately after the race.