Herman Van Den Broeck’s Angelica Zapata enters one of Saturday’s stakes races at Calder looking to keep her winning streak going; while Averill Racing LLC and Silver Oak Stable LLC’s R Free Roll enters the other stakes race in hopes of returning to the winner’s circle for the first time since her first career stakes victory.
Herman Van Den Broeck’s Angelica Zapata is on a two-race winning streak and looks to add to that with a win in Saturday’s $50,000 Capano Handicap. The race is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
“She has really matured since she has been here,” said trainer Ronald Pellegrini. “She has really learned to relax more. On paper it looked like we were the best and after the race was over it looked like we were the best. This Saturday we are going to spot some horses weight, which can always play a factor, but I think we have the best horse.”
Angelica Zapata will carry the highweight of 123 pounds, which is four pounds more than her closest competitor and 11 pounds more than the horse carrying the lightest weight in the field. Jockey Juan Leyva retains the mount aboard Angelica Zapata for the Capano. He has been aboard the 5-year-old mare for all of her starts in 2013.
In her 2013 debut in the 6-furlong U Can Do It Handicap at Calder on June 8, Angelica Zapata finished fourth. She advanced one finish position in her next start, as she came up third in the 7 ½-furlong Hollywood Wildcat Stakes on the turf at Calder on July 6.
“The first race was coming off the layoff, a sprint, and the track really was favoring speed that day so she ran her race but it wasn’t her kind of track,” said Pellegrini. “Second time, she should have won easy; the rider just kind of misjudged the ride and we got beat by a head and ran third.”
Angelica Zapata did not take long to return to her winning ways, however, as she scored the 1-mile Nancy’s Glitter Handicap at Calder on July 20, taking the race by ¾ of a length.
“In the Nancy’s Glitter she was the best horse,” said Pellegrini. “She got in trouble there and still won, beating My Pal Chrisy. Three times prior to that when we ran against My Pal Chrisy we beat her nine, 10 lengths every time. Probably that day we would have done the same; at the sixteenth pole it looked like she had a chance to catch her and she went by her and won going away.”
Angelica Zapata closed out her 2012 campaign with a four-race winning streak, consisting strictly of stakes races at Calder. She finished second by a length in her first race as a four-year-old, which came in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race on the turf at Calder; then she scored the 1-mile off-the-turf Sara’s Success Stakes, the 1 mile-70 yards Emergency Nurse Stakes, the 1 1/16-mile Nancy’s Glitter Handicap, and the 1 1/16-mile Stage Door Betty Handicap by an approximate 18 lengths combined. Angelica Zapata took the Stage Door Betty last year easily over My Pal Chrisy by 7 ½ lengths after taking the Nancy’s Glitter by 9 lengths in the race where My Pal Chrisy finished fourth. My Pal Chrisy also finished fourth to Angelica Zapata in the Emergency Nurse. The Stage Door Betty was last September, and Angelica Zapata did not return to racing until June of this year.
In Angelica Zapata’s most recent start, which came in the 1 1/16-mile Wasted Tears Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream Park on August 31, she took another stakes victory, this time by 1 ¼ lengths.
“The next time she ran at Gulfstream, I asked Juan in the paddock, ‘Do you know how to ride her now?’ and he said ‘Yes.’ I said ‘Well, you just go ride her.’ He rode her perfectly and she won with a lot left.”
The Capano is slated as the eighth race with an approximate post time of 4 p.m. Angelica Zapata has post position six.
R FREE ROLL
Three starts ago, Averill Racing LLC and Silver Oak Stable LLC’s R Free Roll dominated in the 6-furlong Unbridled Stakes at Calder against the boys to earn her first career stakes victory. Since then, she has been unable to return to the winner’s circle. That can all change with a win in this Saturday’s $50,000 Bold World Handicap at Calder.
The Bold World, which is slated for 6 furlongs, is reserved for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. In her most recent start, R Free Roll ventured to Charles Town Race Track to face other fillies for the 7-furlong Charles Town Oaks, where she ran second, finishing 2 ¾ lengths behind. Although she did not win at Charles Town, trainer Ralph Ziadie was not concerned about her finish.
“I thought she had a good chance,” said Ziadie. “It was $400,000 (the purse), and she didn’t disappoint us. She ran good, and there wasn’t any race here.”
Jockey Antonio Gallardo, who guided R Free Roll to her stakes victory in the Unbridled and rode her to a fifth-place finish in the Grade III Carry Back Stakes at Calder also against the boys, is back aboard the filly for the Bold World. He did not travel to Charles Town to ride her in that race. In the Unbridled on June 8, after breaking third, Gallardo took R Free Roll to the lead and never looked back, increasing her advantage to win by 6 ¾ lengths. One race later, on July 6, R Free Roll faded to fifth in the Carry Back after fighting for the lead with the frontrunner of the race into the stretch.
Ziadie said that R Free Roll’s performance in the Carry Back was just “one of those things, what can I tell you. Just one of those things.”
R Free Roll has had just one official workout in preparation for the Bold World, which was on October 27. She scored a bullet work at the 4-furlong distance, clocking a time of :46.80. Her recent performance has the barn prepared for the race ahead.
“She is doing good right now, so hopefully she won’t disappoint us,” said Ziadie.
R Free Roll will break from post position five in the Bold World, which kicks off the stakes action on the card as the seventh race. Approximate post time for the Bold World is 3:35 p.m.