After a short rest, Herman Van Den Broeck’s Angelica Zapata successfully defended her reign as the 1-mile $75,000 Nancy’s Glitter Handicap victor on Saturday at Calder Casino & Race Course.
"She's special,” said Van Den Broeck. “She's the queen of Calder. I'm very happy."
While Miller Racing LLC’s Swinger’s Party and Centrique came to challenge the reigning champion, Angelica Zapata settled along the rail in the early stages. Swinger’s Party took command at the start and set the pace in the backstretch. Centrique challenged Swinger’s Party at the quarter pole but could not match strides, settling for the second year in a row with a third-place finish. Angelica Zapata crept up to Swinger’s Party near the eighth pole, dug in and pulled clear ahead in the final sixteenth of a mile to capture the victory.
“My filly didn’t run for a long time,” said winning jockey Jesus Rios. “So I just sat quiet, made one move, and we were there. The race was perfect for today.”
The star of trainer Ronald Pellegrini’s barn, Angelica Zapata continues to get better with age. After winning the Nancy’s Glitter in 2012 when it was held at the 1 1/16-mile distance, she captured the shorter 1-mile Nancy’s Glitter in 2013 with a final time of 1:39.34; this year, the 6-year-old mare improved on this finishing with a final time of 1:38.67.
"We'll see how she comes out of the race and then we'll plan from there,” said Pellegrini. "I think this is going to be her best year, so we're going to find out."
Angelica Zapata brought $7.20, $3.60, and $2.60 for the win. Swinger’s Party paid $5.40 and $2.60 for the second-place finish, and Centrique returned $2.10 for third.
Rounding out the order of finish were Princess Malia, Courtney Ryan, Don’tcallmecharley, and Rhythm of My Soul.