Another Graded Win for Macho Uno's Private Zone
Two-time grade I winner Private Zone (by Macho Uno) thrived on the front end in his second start......
Two-time grade I winner Private Zone (by Macho Uno) thrived on the front end in his second start of the season, taking the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) Saturday, May 2 at Churchill Downs. (VIDEO)
In Saturday's seven-furlong race that featured the 2015 debut of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Bayern, Good Friends Stable's Private Zone and jockey Martin Pedroza stole the show. After completing early fractions of :22.38 and :44.64, Private Zone held off a stretch run from longshot Nates Mineshaft, who tracked throughout and actually edged to the lead in early stretch, to secure the 4 1/4-length win.
"This is my first win on Derby Day; my first win at Churchill," said the Southern California-based Pedroza. "I am so happy to win this race for my good friend Renee Douglas (the owners' stable manager). I am blessed that I am healthy and doing well and I can win a race like this for him.
"I'm 48 but I feel like I'm 21. This is some horse. He is so good."
Private Zone completed the seven-furlong race in 1:22.54 and returned $7.40 to win, $4.40, and $3. Windy Hill Farm's veteran campaigner Nates Mineshaft returned $19.80 to place and $6.20 to show. George and Lori Hall's Pants On Fire returned $2.80 to show.
Trained by Jorge Navarro, Private Zone opened the season with a runner-up finish to Honor Code in the one-turn mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 7. Private Zone, a now 6-year-old son of Macho Uno, closed last season with his second career grade I win in the Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.
"He's been training really well coming into this race," Navarro said. "I knew when the other horse came, he would dig in. He's a fighter."
Martin Garcia, aboard Bayern, said his horse was through early.
Out of the Siphon mare Auburn Beauty, Private Zone was bred in Ontario by Adena Springs. His career bankroll now stands at $1,888,120.
-edited from www.bloodhorse.com
Grade 1 Score for Ghostzapper's Molly Morgan
Molly Morgan would not be denied in this year's La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) May 1 at Churchill......
Molly Morgan would not be denied in this year's La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) May 1 at Churchill Downs. (VIDEO)
Second in last year's edition of the La Troienne, Bill Cubbedge's Molly Morgan rallied along the rail coming off the far turn, opened a clear lead, then held off Sheer Drama to win the 1 1/16-mile La Troienne. Corey Lanerie guided the daughter of Ghostzapper to victory in the $300,000 race, her sixth overall from 14 starts on the Churchill dirt.
Trained by Dale Romans, the win marked the first grade I score for Molly Morgan, who completed the race on a fast track in 1:43.25 and held off a late rally from 2-1 favorite Sheer Drama to win by about three-quarters of a length.
"I was able to worm my way right over to the inside," Lanerie said. "I was lucky the rail never shut down on me and I was able to keep the momentum until I got through there."
The Royal Delta was Molly Morgan's first race since wrapping up 2014 with a third-place finish in the Falls City Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 27 at Churchill.
"Bill (Cubbedge) let me sit on her this winter, as we didn't turn her out," Romans said. "We just let her stay in training and get her feet back under her. I told Bill this is what helps to win big races down the road. She came with a good performance last time and the race at Gulfstream set her up perfectly for today."
Molly Morgan was bred in Kentucky by Cubbedge, Mike Lauffer, and Greg McDonald. She is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Capitulation. She is Ghostzapper's 8th Grade 1 winner
-edited from www.bloodhorse.com